Beren (beren_writes) wrote,
Beren
beren_writes

Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 63 - Surprises (Harry/Draco, NC17)

Title: Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 63 - Surprises
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

It had taken them three hours to make a decision about seeing Lucius. It hadn't been an easy one. Neither of them ever wanted to be near the man again, but, once the anger had faded, they had both seen the need. There was the alturistic side of the argument, but that wasn't what had helped Harry make up his mind in the end. The fact was, if Lucius was pretending, if he had managed to fool all the Ministry experts, they needed to know how.

Draco was the one who had pointed it out. As soon as Harry had heard the logical Slytherin argument he had known they were going. He didn't like it, Draco didn't like it, but it was necessary.

Now, three days later, they were in a car on the way from Grimauld Place to St Mungo's. It had taken that long to get through Ministry red tape, but at least Dumbledore had dealt with all of that.

Draco's back was so straight and tense that it looked painful. Harry had absolutely no doubt that his soulmate was conflicted and terrified, although very little emotion was coming down their link as Draco kept it all inside. The Slytherin had been uncommunicative and tense since they had got up that morning. Here they were in a Malfoy car, on their way to what was beginning to feel like a meeting of doom. Draco was sitting staring out of the window, the only contact being maintained with Harry where there legs were touching, and Narcissa was sitting opposite them both, worriedly watching her son.

Finally, Harry had had enough and he reached out, pulling Draco to him and not taking no for an answer. At first Draco resisted and was stiff in his embrace, but Harry did not give up. Pouring his love down their bond, he wore down Draco's defences and eventually his lover sagged in his arms.

[I will not let him hurt you, or touch you, or even say anything if you don't want him to,] Harry said firmly. [I only have to see him and I will know, and then we can leave.]

[He tried to take you away from me,] Draco replied and slipped his arms around Harry, clinging on almost desperately. [I think of him and all I can see is his face as he cast that curse. That man was not my father and I never want to see him again.]

[Maybe,] Harry said tentatively, [if your mother is right, that man is gone.]

[Harry,] Draco said, tone cool, [I gave up believing in Father Christmas when I was seven, and that is just as likely.]

There was no point in replying to that, so Harry just held Draco as they continued their journey in silence.

~*~

Draco's grip on his hand was almost painful for Harry, but he did not complain. It had taken more courage than most wizards had in their whole body for his soulmate to walk into St Mungo's and now they were standing outside Lucius' room. There were two Aurors guarding the door and Narcissa had already gone in. It only took a few moments until a portion of the wall in front of which they were standing went from opaque to transparent and brought with it sound from within the room.

"Good afternoon, my love," Lucius' voice sounded strange to Harry's ears for some reason he could not quite place.

It distracted him enough that he was not ready for the flood of images that came from Draco as his soulmate's knees buckled. They were not new memories to Harry, Draco had had nightmares like this since the attack, but this was the first time they had assailed his waking mind in such a stream. Harry's reaction was instantaneous as he caught Draco and pulled him away from the magical window to two chairs on the other side of the corridor.

Draco's breath was coming in short, panicked gasps and Harry did his best to just let the nightmarish recollections of pain and suffering roll over him so that he could comfort his lover. Rubbing gently on Draco's back, he did his best to send back images of comfort and of now, a lifeline to bring his soulmate back from the memories that were flooding his mind.

[I'm here, Draco,] he promised faithfully, [I'm not going anywhere.]

It was always the same focus when his soulmate lost the battle to keep what Lucius had done at the back of his mind; never the torture Draco had endured or the humiliation, which Draco seemed able to cope with; it was the curse that had tried to separate them. It was the reason Harry had made the rings and it was why he pushed back into his lover's mind with all he had and did not flinch from anything Draco was feeling.

"I'm ... sorry," his soulmate gasped out as Harry held him.

"Nothing to be sorry about," he assured him firmly, gritting his teeth against the turmoil. "You've had far worse from me. Just breathe, love, it'll pass."

In the end it took nearly ten minutes for Draco's breathing to calm down, and then Harry just held on for a few more just to be sure.

[Thank you,] Draco said eventually and it was obvious to Harry that his soulmate had his equilibrium back if he was speaking mind to mind.

Draco moved away slightly and looked into Harry's face with grey, grief-filled eyes. Needing to take that emotion away, Harry did the only thing he could think of and he moved forward and kissed Draco firmly on the lips.

[I will keep you safe,] he promised.

When he finally pulled back there was a small smile playing at Draco's mouth, and the dark emotion was almost gone from his gaze.

[I know,] was the confident response.

Then Draco pulled away and stood up, at which point Harry followed, and hand in hand they walked slowly back to the charmed wall. Harry glanced once at the Aurors, but both men were politely ignoring them, for which he was very thankful.

Narcissa was now sitting in a chair next to her husband, who was seated in a large, comfortable arm chair in a robe with a blanket draped over his knees. Lucius was holding one of Narcissa's hands in both of his own, and he was smiling slightly at whatever his wife had just said. It was such a gentle, loving scene that Harry found it very hard to reconcile the man sitting in the room with the monster who had tried to kill him and Draco.

[I remember father being ill once when I was about eight,] Draco said after a few moments. [Lucius looks the way I remember him then.]

[Maybe, the man in there is your father, Draco,] Harry replied slowly, [not Lucius Malfoy, Lieutenant to Voldemort. I know that they are not the same person.]

[And maybe he is a good actor,] Draco responded rather bitterly.

If he had been able to Harry would have checked there and then, but he knew that the charmed wall would not allow him to see completely clearly what was beyond it in a magical sense. To know for sure they had to be in the room.

[Let's find out,] he said and squeezed Draco's hand.

For a few seconds Draco just stood there, the conflict running through him for Harry to see, and then Draco drew himself to his full height, took a deep breath and nodded.

"It's now or never," Draco said and looked Harry directly in the eye.

The pain was buried, but Harry could still feel it.

Together they moved to the door and Harry raised a hand and knocked. The last barrier between them and Lucius was removed a few moments later by Narcissa, who smiled supportively at her son, and sent Harry a look of thanks. As soon as the door was open Draco stiffened again, but he did not hesitate to step into the room. Harry was filled with admiration at his soulmate's courage as Draco looked directly towards Lucius, although he was not quite sure Draco was actually seeing the man sitting in the chair.

There was a slightly shocked expression on Lucius' face, and the elder Malfoy appeared almost as hesitant as Draco had been outside.

"Hello, Draco," Lucius said eventually, and Harry finally realised why the man's voice sounded strange; the malice was gone. "Thank you for coming. I don't think I really believed it until now, but you are definitely not fourteen."

Then Harry found himself pinned down by examining grey eyes, and Lucius nodded slightly.

"I know we have probably met before," the blond man said slowly in greeting, "but I'm afraid I do not recall you."

"Harry Potter," he responded evenly, "and yes, we have met several times, Mr Malfoy."

There was not even the remotest flicker of recognition as Harry spoke his name, and for the first time he almost believed that Lucius might be telling the truth. It seemed that if the amnesia was real that it had had to remove all trace of him from Lucius' mind to complete the process of removing everything dark. Since he and Voldemort were so closely connected it seemed almost logical.

"I do not know what I did to you, Draco," Lucius said, turning back to his son with a very sincere expression on his face; "they will not tell me, but your mother has explained that it was abominable. I need you to know that I cannot imagine hurting you, but I do not ask you to forgive me."

"Harry is Hecatemus," Draco responded immediately in a tone that was little above glacial. "I am his bond mate. You tried to separate us with a curse."

All colour drained out of Lucius' face, which was quite a feat given Malfoy colouring and the fact that Lucius was still pale and weak from the effect of the redirected magic. The man honestly did not seem to know how to react to Draco's bluntness.

Feeling the strain of the encounter running through Draco, Harry moved fractionally closer and let Draco know he was there for him. He did not think either of them could take much more of this today and so he lowered his barriers to do what he had come here to do. With part of his mind distracted by Draco's turmoil it took him a little longer than normal to alter his perception to the correct level, and when he did he had lowered his barrier to emotion as well.

The first thing he saw was the blue of shock and the dark green of horror surrounding Lucius, but shining through it was something he had never expected to see in relation to Draco's father, the pure gold of love. Shifting his awareness he concentrated on his magical perception. He was quite honestly amazed by what he was seeing. Even many Light wizards did not have completely clear magical auras from their contact with dark magic artefacts from time to time in their lives, but Lucius' aura was as pure as a new born.

He had been told, but he had been almost sure that it had to be a trick, and yet the proof was sitting in front of him. It was so much of a shock that he needed further verification.

"Mr Malfoy," he said, stepping past Draco as he followed his initial impulse, "may I take your hand?"

He could feel Draco's shock at his action, but Harry could not explain yet. He needed to be one hundred percent sure before he would let Draco begin to hope; it would be too cruel any other way. As Lucius looked at him with confused, sad eyes he sent non-verbal reassurances to Draco and held out his hand to Draco's father.

Hesitantly Lucius reached out and rested his fingers in Harry's. Letting his awareness focus completely on the other wizard, Harry allowed the presence of the man to fill his senses. He could feel the strong will and self awareness that was very similar to Draco's and he could feel the powerful wizard that lived behind the guise of human male, but what he could not find at all was the taint of Dark magic.

"Oh god," he whispered, half to himself and half to the room, "it's true."

The far reaching consequences of what this meant tried to make themselves known to him at the same time, but he was not really ready to accept them, and instead he turned to Draco and pulled him close.

[That is your father,] he said silently as he buried his face in his soulmate's shoulder, completely certain of what he was saying. [Voldemort's lieutenant is dead.]

He felt the hope bloom in Draco as mental blocks his soulmate had put in place to separate himself from the monster his father had become began to crumble. He also felt the conflict this caused and the total lack of direction it called up in Draco. Until that moment Lucius had been as good as dead to his son, and what Harry knew changed it all.

At a loss for how to help, Harry did the only thing he could; he shared what he had seen and felt it chase away the last doubt in Draco's mind. Draco clung to him as Draco's childhood memories warred with his more recent ones for dominance. Flashes of a loving father playing with his child collided with images of a monster playing games of an entirely different type as emotions Draco had thought dead and buried resurfaced.

[He has the same face, Harry,] his soulmate told him desperately. [How can he be one and not the other?]

[Everything dark is gone,] Harry replied with the only thing he knew for certain. [I don't know how, but in some way the Killing curse killed the evil. I don't know how much of Lucius was dark, but I do know it is not there anymore. He was insane at the end, Draco, we both know it, and the madman no longer exists.]

Narcissa brushed her hand across Draco's back, resting beside her son for a moment in comfort before returning to her husband's side. Harry felt her go more than saw it, but he could feel the comfort she was giving Lucius, as well as the distress this was causing the man. Rebuilding his mental barriers to their usual strength he gave all his love and comfort to Draco, and, pulling away again, he looked his soulmate in the eye. In this he had to be the rock, the source of strength, and he took on the role willingly.

Giving Draco's shoulders one more squeeze Harry moved aside so that Draco could once more see Lucius. He turned and stood behind Draco, draping one arm round his lover's waist and moving in close as support. Lucius' eyes were filled with a grief the man did not seem to be able to understand, and for the first time in his life Harry found himself sympathetic to Draco's father. This man was a normal wizard who did not remember the evil he had done, was in fact incapable of repeating it or being the same person who had killed and tortured, and Harry found he did not like to see Lucius in pain.

"I do not know if I can forgive you," Draco spoke slowly and hesitated for a long moment, "Father," he eventually said, "but I will try."

And then Harry knew that this meeting was over. Draco could take no more and when he turned and headed towards the door, Harry stayed only long enough to see the hope flare in Lucius' eyes. Whatever was to come, he and Draco would deal with it together. He nodded at his father-in-law, before following Draco out of the room.
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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