Beren (beren_writes) wrote,

Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 37 - Research (Harry/Draco, NC17)

Title: Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 37/70 - Research
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.

Harry ate what Draco put in front of him, but he was thinking about far too many things to really taste the food. Everything he had discussed with Primrose was still too clear in his mind for him to worry about such mundane things as fuel for his body. He'd never really been one for magical theory before his true nature had been revealed, but the way he and other Hecatemae thought about magic seemed totally natural to him.

"We need to do some more research," he said as he took a bite of what turned out to be toast and jam as he finally looked at it.

"We do," Draco agreed, "but first, have you thought of who we should talk to about this?"

That caught Harry's attention and pulled him out of his contemplations.

"No one," he said and rather shocked himself even as the words fell from his mouth.

Draco sat down with a sigh.

"I knew you were going to say that," Draco said. "I told Albus you had an incident due to researching the alternative to Apparition when I told him we wouldn't make the Quidditch match today."

"Quidditch match?" Harry said, and then it dawned on him what day it was. "Damn, what time is it?"

"Far too late to worry about that," Draco told him, "and don't worry, Albus was going to deal with it. Not really the point I was talking about, though. Care to explain why I lied for us without even thinking about it first thing this morning?"

Harry felt more than a little guilty as he realised he must have unconsciously been influencing his soulmate.

"It's bigger than even we thought yesterday. They'll never let us research something this dangerous," he said, voicing the conclusion he had come to after hearing what Primrose had to say, "and we can't explain how we got the information."

Surprisingly Draco just nodded as Harry spoke.

"What about Hermione?" Draco asked.

"We'll have to tell her something," Harry said, "but I don't think we can ask her to help anymore."

It was all instinct, but Harry had learned to go with those ever since his heritage was revealed.

"Okay, then I will do the lying," Draco agreed. "I'll tell her you had a terrible reaction to what we were doing yesterday and I don't want you investigating it anymore for a while. She already knows we have to keep this secret, so that won't be a problem, and she won't mind keeping a look out for anything she sees in passing."

Harry frowned.

"I'm not sure Hermione will be willing to let go of a research project that easily."

"Don't worry about that," Draco told him, "I'll get out the violins if I have to. Hermione puts her friends above knowledge. We'll just have to pretend that whatever research we're doing in the Library from now on is for the other project."

It sounded so reasonable, but Harry was worried.

"I think this might be really important," he added.

"Have you considered just banishing Sirius to somewhere the explosion can't hurt anyone every time he appears?" Draco said in a reasonable tone.

That made Harry's stomach twist and he put down what was left of his toast. His denial was instinctive as well as emotional.

"I'm not sure there is anywhere," he said; "the universe is screaming very loudly."

"I knew that too," Draco said, "I just wanted to make sure you did too. You're going to be guilty enough about this as it is."

Harry was surprised.

"How did you know?" he asked.

"I'm not sure," Draco admitted. "I probably picked it up from you on some level, it's just obvious. So we're agreed, not even Hermione?"

Harry nodded; this was something they had to do on their own.

"I need to write down everything Primrose told us last night," Harry said, going to put his food down to find some parchment.

"Not until you've eaten everything on that plate," Draco said with a very authoritarian glare. "I have no idea exactly how taxing travelling is, but you passed out as soon as we got back last night and I am not having you doing it again because you haven't had enough calories."

"You should eat too," Harry said just because he could and Draco simply raised an eyebrow at him.

"I am," Draco said and Harry had no doubt his soulmate was unimpressed with his play. "Now eat."

Harry's stomach betrayed him by grumbling, so he relaxed back into his spot and did as he was told. When he had finished two sides of toast, a bowl of porridge and a plate of bacon and eggs, Draco gave him the parchment and a quill he needed to write everything down.

"I can't believe how easy it is to transfigure matter into energy," Harry said as he began to record the details Primrose had explained about her research. "Of course I should have because we all do it when Apparating."

"It's not easy," Draco said, "it's hideously complex, it just looks easy to you. I wouldn't be surprised to find Apparating was created using some of Primrose's research."

"No Hecatema would have designed that spell," Harry protested, "trust me on that."

"Not the blasting part, no," Draco agreed, "but the energy part has your lot written all over it."

Harry shrugged, it would make sense. Of course the history books hadn't recorded that information so Primrose would never get credit.

"Wish I'd thought to ask her about that," Harry said as he went back to writing the details.

Primrose had done some very detailed work in investigating how energy could be transferred from the mortal plane of existence to the afterlife. It was all to do with layers and how one universe sat on top of another and the soul existed in all simultaneously. The body caused what she called a resonance in the soul, linking it to the mortal plane, and death destroyed the resonance, allowing the energy to align with the other side. Ghosts were caused when the resonance was not completely destroyed even though the body died, trapping the soul in the mortal plane.

Of course there were other questions, like consciousness, but Primrose had firmly declared she really hadn't been looking at philosophical questions. She was only interested in what she could measure.

The curse she had studied transfigured a body to energy, merging it with the soul and then used the mess this generated to destroy the resonance. Frankly, Harry found the whole idea monstrous. Primrose hypothesised that what had happened with Sirius was the resonance had not been completely destroyed, only changed, making him able to shift between planes, but not really belonging to either.

Killing the resonance without the natural progression of death took an incredible amount of energy, hence the need for wild magic.

Hypothetically, to bring Sirius back to this plane of existence would require re-establishing the resonance in his essence. Unfortunately this would require significantly more magic than stopping the resonance in the first place.

"Do you think it's possible to harness wild magic?" Harry asked, as he paused in his writing.

It was the question that had been bothering him ever since the theoretical possibility of bringing Sirius back had been mentioned.

"I don't know," Draco said with brutal honesty, "but if anyone can do it, it's you."

* * *

It wasn't until Harry had spent all day avoiding his friends and pretending to be recovering, that he realised there was one important thing they hadn't talked about.

[Travelling,] he said after they had eaten a light supper in their room.

[What about it?] Draco asked.

[Well I know we decided not to tell anyone about what we learned from Primrose, but Travelling seems to be a very important subject that Hilde and her colleagues have lost.]

Draco turned from where he was reading.

"You're right," he said.

"So we're going to have to tell them eventually?" Harry asked.

Draco nodded.

"Of course, but not until we've finished with everything about Sirius."


And that probably would have been it, but Harry was thinking about it now and he was confused.

"How do you think something so important has been forgotten?" he asked. "Tr..."

He stumbled over the word.


It was as if his tongue just completely failed when he tried to say it.

"What's going on?" he said as he tried to say it a third time with the same result.

"By Merlin," Draco said, "the fools."

Harry still wasn't quite sure what was going on. It kind of felt like it had when he had been talking to Primrose and the magic had blocked him from revealing something that would have upset the timeline.

"Oh," he said as he realised the implications.

[I think we know why Travelling has been lost,] Draco said. [Some idiot has put the information under a charm. It's unspeakable.]

[But we're speaking about it like this,] Harry pointed out, [and how come people don't have trouble saying travelling normally?]

[A matter of intent,] Draco said, [and I suspect no one ever thought to block mind to mind communication about it.]

[So we can't tell anyone about it even if we want to?]

[Not without figuring out how and possibly when someone did it,] Draco replied. [I'm guessing some moron tried to limit the knowledge to certain people and got it wrong.]

[Probably when the Ministry took over,] Harry added.

[I bet they limited it to their Hecatemae department and forgot to take into account new members,] Draco said. [There's probably a whole section on it in their archives, only no one can see it.]

[We could...] Harry started to say.

[No,] Draco said and gave Harry a stare; [this is a problem for another day. We deal with Sirius, Transferring and Voldemort first, in that order.]

It was said with such finality that it made Harry smile. He loved how Draco seemed to have complete faith that they could actually deal with all three of those things.

* * *

Draco would never admit it out loud, but he was in his element in the Restricted Section of the library. He had loved books since he was a small boy and books with arcane knowledge in them appealed to him a lot. Of course he had never allowed this love to become common knowledge because such things were beneath a Slytherin. Books were, after all, just tools.

As staff they had automatic access to the Restricted Section, but he was still working on excuses to give to Hermione as to why they had not sought her help this time. The section now registered very clearly who had and who had not been using it thanks to the first of Hermione's changes. No one could go in or out without the spell on the entrance recording their presence. Hence she would know exactly how long they had been in there.

Hermione was also still in the process of reorganising the whole of the Restricted Section. Apparently it was something Madam Pince had wanted to do for a long time, but with the rest of the library to look after it had been a low priority.

It had changed even since the last time they had been in and Draco approved. Just looking around he could see Hermione's influence and it made perfect sense to him.

"The books on wild magic are this way," he said after reading the small sign Hermione had put up just inside the section entrance.

There was one of Hermione's little rollerdecks right next to the stack of books they wanted. It made Draco wonder what their world would do without innovative minds like their friend. Without pausing he used the device and came up with two books names. He gave one to Harry and took the other himself.

"Let's get going," he said and squared his shoulders.

Harry just nodded and started looking at the shelves.

* * *

[This is interesting,] Harry said, picking up the book he was reading and taking it over to Draco. [I've read something like it before, but this is much more detailed. It suggests it is the crystal of the wild wand that helps project the magic. The lattice is what allows the wizard to direct the effect and use the magic.]

The entry he had found went into a lot more of the intricacies of the theory, which is why he had brought it over to Draco. He was quite aware he had a decent brain on him, despite everything the Dursleys had ever tried to tell him, but he knew Draco's was better. As his soulmate read he could feel Draco becoming more and more interested. After two hours they might have found their first clue.

[It makes sense that the crystal could be acting like our wands do for our normal core magic,] Draco said, while still reading. [What it doesn't explain is how to get the wild magic into the crystal. Crystal wands are divined, then dug up and carved for use, the magic is already in them. We should copy this...]

[And keep looking,] Harry said and sighed.

[Don't give up, Love,] Draco said and patted him on the arm; [we're learning all the time.]

Harry nodded and tried for a smile. This was just so important and there wasn't enough information.

* * *

They had been in the library for hours and so far they had lots of information about how what they wanted to do was impossible and tended to kill people and not a lot else. Harry hoped they found something soon. He had his nose in a tiny book, which made a change for the Restricted Section, but the magnifying glass that also translated the words was a bit cumbersome to use. So far, it also didn't have any useful information.

Just like last time the magic all over the place in this part of the library was beginning to get to him, but he refused to give up. This was personal.

"Someone actually tried it," Draco said.

Harry looked up and, as soon as he did, Draco waved him over. Harry put down his very small book and walked over.

The book Draco was currently reading was very large and had its own stand, which it was chained to. Draco was wearing a special pair of gloves that had been on the stand next to the book. Harry still found the Restricted Section somewhat perturbing, but Draco had just put the gloves on like it was perfectly normal when he had started looking at the book.

"Who?" Harry asked.

"A conclave of thirteen wizards," Draco said, "in 1631. They were trying to create a permanent portal between London and Prague."


"It doesn't actually say," Draco said, "but I don't think the person who wrote this book approved."

"Did they do it?" Harry asked.

"I'm not sure yet," Draco replied, "the entry is a long one. So far I've only really read the personal history of every wizard involved and what they were trying to do."

Harry glanced over the page Draco was scanning, but the writing was very small and he wasn't exactly sure where Draco was reading.

"Now this might be useful," Draco said after a few moments. "It says here they used an ancient blood ritual to join the conclave together for the ceremony."

Pulling off one glove Draco noted down something in the book he was using to keep track of anything they found.

"We'll have to look that up in a minute," Draco added. "It gave one wizard the power of the whole group."

"That doesn't sound good," Harry said.

"Normally I'd agree," Draco said, "but from what I remember about these types of rituals everyone has to be focused on the same task and it makes everyone vulnerable to everyone else involved. Don't worry, The Dark Lord is not about to try and leech the magic from his underlings."

Harry hoped Draco knew what he was talking about.

"I know we're already in tune," Draco said, "but we could use something like this so I can keep your grounded."

Harry wasn't sure he liked the sound of that either.

"Don't say it," Draco said before he could put the disquiet into words; "we're both doing this whether you like it or not. The more power you have the more chance of success you have so this could help."

He still didn't like it, but Harry knew when not to argue. They would have to talk about it more later.

"Oh," Draco said, leaning over the book again, "now this confirms it."

Draco was so wrapped up in what he was reading that he hadn't put the other glove back on. Harry reached out and grabbed his soulmate's hand before Draco could touch the book with his bare fingers.

"I don't know what those do," he said, pointing at the gloves, "but I think you should wear them. You read, I'll write."

"The book gives unauthorised readers small shocks when they touch it," Draco said, but did pull the other glove back on, "these make it think I am the maker and, hence, allowed to read it. It's not too dangerous, but, thank you, it would have been recorded in Hermione's log."

"Remember if you get shocked I feel it too," Harry said, "I'd prefer to avoid you getting hurt as well."

Sometimes he thought Draco was the one lacking self preservation instincts, not him. Draco smiled at him for the concern.

"It appears the blood ritual was dual purpose," Draco said; "it was also a sacrifice of self to the wild magic. They used it to focus the magic into one place."

Harry noted that down.

"That part was successful," Draco continued, "and their summoning worked."

As he read Draco worried at his bottom lip, eyes focused in concentration.

"Damn over wordy historians," Draco said and turned the page. "Why say in three words what you can use ten for instead."

That made Harry smile, when it came to books Draco was almost as bad as him and magic, only Hermione on books was worse. However, even Harry could see there was only one hand written paragraph on the next page.

"Dammit, the conclave failed," Draco said standing back with a sigh. "Even with thirteen of them the wild magic was too strong. They could stop it destroying, but it wouldn't bend to their will."

"Yes," Harry said, "but they aren't us."

There was no way he was giving up just because no one had been able to do this before.

This entry was originally posted at
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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