Beren (beren_writes) wrote,

Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 73 - Holding On (Harry/Draco, NC17)

Title: Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 73 - Holding On
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

Draco could barely think as panic tried to take away any sense he had left after the explosion. He had stayed back, stayed hidden using his animagus form, just like Harry had asked, but he couldn't anymore. He prayed it was over. He had seen it all from Harry's perspective, keeping in close mental contact with his soulmate the entire time. It was the only way he had been able to remain the grounding strength and not directly involved as his instincts screamed at him.

It was too late now. He didn't care if he ran into the Death Eaters who had been with Voldemort. With how he was feeling he was ready to rip them to pieces with his own bare paws, magic be damned.

He knew he was irrational, but he was close to Harry and Harry was badly hurt. Part of him wanted to fall over, but he kept moving even as reflected pain tried to take his breath away. If it had just been pain coming from his soulmate it would not have been as bad, but the pain was muted and Harry's thoughts were muddled and distant.

Of course it was then that two Death Eaters appeared out of the gloom of the forest.

"What is that?" one of them demanded.

They were clearly off balance, but then what had just happened to their master had to be reverberating through the broken bond of the Dark Mark. Draco didn't give them time to react to him; he attacked. His cat shape was large and fast and, when instinct was guiding him, very, very accurate. One bounced off a tree and didn't move and the other fell, dropping his wand. Draco ignored the wizard as he scrabbled off into the darkness; all he was worried about was Harry. He moved through the trees with speed now.

Bounding into the open space Voldemort had chosen to try and destroy his nemesis, Draco scanned for danger, but nothing moved. Bellatrix, Macnair and the one other Draco did not recognise were out cold around the remains of their beloved leader. Harry was lying in a heap a few feet from the sludge that had once been the Dark Lord. As soon as Draco saw him everything else was irrelevant.

Without even considering what had happened to the others, he transformed back into his human form and ran to his soulmate, falling to his knees. Harry looked like a broken doll, face bloody, glasses gone, wand arm clearly broken and at a strange angle, rips in his clothes and bloody signs of other injuries all over his body, but that wasn't the worst. It was the way Harry's skin rippled, showing little flashes of colour underneath, sickly greens, blacks, yellows, even red; all the signs of dark magic, that had all of Draco's attention.

"Harry," he said, but there was no response. [Harry,] he tried again and his soulmate twitched, but nothing came back.

In that instant Draco knew his soulmate was dying; he was losing Harry.

That was entirely unacceptable.

He did not even stop to consider what he was doing. It was his job to keep Harry safe and he was not allowed to fail. There was only one way he knew he might have a chance and it didn't matter in the slightest how dangerous it might be.

Taking out his wand, he pointed it at his wrist and with a vicious flick used a cutting charm to open a vein. Pushing the wound against Harry's lips he lifted his soulmate, urging him to drink. Harry coughed, but swallowed and then Draco pushed his own magic into his other half.

"Two are one, one is two," he whispered, using the same binding charm they had employed for the ritual to resurrect Sirius.

Of course this time he was not joining with a healthy, strong wizard and as the blood link snapped into place it felt as if his magic was being ripped out of him. He couldn't stop it and he whimpered, clinging to Harry as his own power tried desperately to stabilise his soulmate. The pain that came back at him was almost overwhelming and he knew if he didn't do something he was going to fall under the onslaught.

He reached desperately for that high place in his mind, the one that had kept him as Harry's anchor the last time they had used this ritual. He needed calm, he needed control and for that he stepped into an altered state. If any of the Death Eaters woke up before help arrived he would be defenceless, but he had no choice.

Emotion switched off, pain became irrelevant and with cold calm he took hold of his magic. He pulled it back, regulating the flow and he stared down at Harry's immobile form impassively. He had one purpose and one purpose only; to keep Harry alive, and that he would do until he had nothing left to give.

"Draco," he knew the voice speaking to him, but he did not react.

When a hand touched his shoulder he did look at it and then up as Sirius, who was now standing over him, but then he turned back to Harry.

"Is Harry..?" Ron asked from somewhere else.

A voice in the back of his mind pointed out the cavalry had arrived, but he did not sway from his task.

"No," Sirius said, "I can see him breathing."

"What's wrong with Draco?" Ron again.

"It's a blood bond," Hermione said.

"They used it in the ceremony to bring me back," Sirius agreed, "Draco must have initiated it for Harry."

"It could kill him," Hermione pointed out.

"I don't think he cares," Remus said. "We need to get them to Madam Pomfrey immediately."

When someone grabbed him under the arms and pulled him up, Draco did not resist. With the blood bond he did not need physical contact with Harry. He even stood, holding his own weight, although the person supporting him did not release him, as Remus picked up Harry without any hesitation.

The Forbidden Forest vanished and the hospital wing appeared, but all Draco really cared about was Harry. Healers and helpers went into motion around him as all the preparations Hogwarts had made came into play, and he just watched.

He would not let Harry die; it was as simple as that.

* * *

Harry opened his eyes onto a world of pain and confusion. He could barely see out of one eye and the other showed him only hazy shapes. There was noise and bustle all around him and he sensed the urgency in the people close to him. Yet in the disorder there was a point of calm and Harry reached for it. As he touched this centre of tranquillity he found himself looking at the room in which he was lying from a different place. He could see his own broken body, flanked on each side by a healer with Madam Pomfrey at his head.

They had mostly stripped him and Harry could see the after effects of the curses that had rebounded onto him, rippling below his skin. This was not his Hecatemus abilities since the eyes out of which he was looking did not see that way, this was normal vision. The magic which was consuming his body was so strong it was visible to the naked eye.

[They have been working for nearly an hour already,] Draco's voice told him without a trace of emotion. [Madam Pomfrey will not let them give up.]

At the contact Harry realised where the well of calm surrounding his consciousness was coming from: his soulmate was holding him in a mental embrace. Draco felt completely at ease, almost as if he was disconnected from what was happening and Harry knew his lover was sheltering him. He had no strength to reply to Draco's thoughts, but he held to the mental presence.

[You must fight, Harry,] Draco told him. [I am here when you need me, but you must return now.]

Suddenly Harry was back in his body, back amidst the turmoil and the agony. It hurt as the dark magic moved within him and foiled all attempts of his carers to heal him and it drew a moan from his tortured chest.

"He's awake," he heard one of the healers say.

A shape loomed over him and he moved to try and turn his head away, but hands took hold of the sides of his face and held him in place. Emotion swamped him: fear, anger, sadness. He was completely open to everything Madam Pomfrey was feeling as she prevented him looking away.

"I'm sorry, Harry," she said firmly, "but I need you to stay with me. Try and look at me, Harry, concentrate on staying awake. Can you do that for me?"

Harry could not see her features, but he had memorised then long since and he tried hard to put that memory to what his eyes were showing him. He knew she would be looking for some sign from him, something to indicate that he had heard and he managed to nod just slightly.

"Good, Harry," the praise was almost instantaneous with his movement and he felt the hope wash through Madam Pomfrey. "Keep looking at me."

She did not let go and although he could feel spells being cast around him and on him, Harry gave Madam Pomfrey his undivided attention. He was so tired and he hurt so much that part of him just wanted to close his eyes and let it all go, but the island of calm that was Draco and the torrent of emotions that was Madam Pomfrey would not let him give up.

"We're ready," Harry heard and he saw the blob of the school healer's face look away from him for a moment.

He felt trepidation move through the woman.

"Harry," she said as soon as she looked back, "we are going to try and cleanse your body. We have to purge the dark magic before we can begin to heal you properly. We have contained it and now we have to remove it. It's going to hurt, and I'm sorry, but you must try and stay awake. If you leave us we may not be able to bring you back."

Harry gave Madam Pomfrey another nod, but he did not know how much more he could take. Nothing could have prepared him for what came next. All four healers cast something at the same time and the spell hit him like Cruciatus. The magic clawed at him and daggered into every cell seeking out the power rippling through his body; light magic met dark and declared war, with his broken form as the battle ground.

If he had had the breath he would have screamed, but Harry could not even moan as every muscle in his body, irrespective of whether it was damaged, tensed. It was more than his tortured shell could stand and no matter how he tried to hold on, his body was ripped from his control.

"He's going into convulsions," was the last thing he heard and then the world began to fade.

Harry reached for the calm point of Draco, but it seemed so far away and he could not touch it. He grabbed for it desperately as panic filled him, but it was as if there was something between him and the world. Everything was dim and he could not stop himself slipping away from it.

The further he moved from the world the less afraid he felt and eventually, with detached calm he came to the realisation that he was dying. As he accepted this the pain faded completely and Harry stopped fighting. The moment he gave up he felt mental arms around him and he was filled with warmth.

[I'm dying, Draco,] he said as he recognised the touch, [you have to let me go.]

[Where you go I go, Love,] Draco told him calmly.

Harry turned in the embrace, not sure when his mind had conjured him a body, but not caring either. Draco's grey eyes were clear and bright and he was looking at Harry intently.

[You can live, Draco,] Harry said, perfectly certain of his facts, [don't give up because of me.]

[Could you live without me, Harry?] Draco asked with a small smile.

[That's different,] he tried to protest, but his soulmate placed a finger on his lips before he could go on.

[I need you as well, Love,] Draco told him. [You are my reason to go on. Would you want me to be the next Voldemort?]

Harry shook his head.

[Without you that is what I would become. I would not care anymore, Love,] Draco explained, [and that would make me very dangerous. I bound my body to yours with a blood bond and I will not break it.]

[That's the only reason I survived so long isn't it,] Harry said, looking into his lover's eyes. [Your strength kept me going. I'm sorry it wasn't enough, I just couldn't hold on.]

[You've fought enough, Harry,] Draco responded with a smile. [Don't be sorry, at least we are together.]

It was completely dark around them now, the real world had completely faded for both of them, and as if on cue a light flared in the distance. Harry felt the pull towards it almost instantly and he turned to look at it, still encased in Draco's embrace.

[I wonder if it is this way for everyone,] he said slowly, [or if this is just the way we see it?]

[When we get there we'll have to ask them,] Draco replied and released him only keeping hold of one of Harry's hands.

See you for the next chapter tomorrow ;) Only 8 more to go.
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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