Title: Alleviation (ficlet for The Corruption Sequence set after #4)
Fandom: Harry Potter
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.
Summary: Draco needs to reclaim his place as top Slytherin, which includes Quidditch. Someone really doesn't want him to take back his crown.
Author's Notes: This is a ficlet for The Corruption Sequence set shortly after part 4. It's not a long fic because it was written as a request and I didn't have that long to complete it :). Thanks to Soph for the beta.
Word count: 2,710
Links to TCS: LJ | DW | AO3
My Fanfic Listings (LJ) | My Fanfic Listings (DreamW) | My Fic on AO3
It was cold and damp as Harry lurked under the Quidditch stands, but he didn't really mind. He was wrapped up in a full length cloak with hood and it wasn't as if the cold really bothered him anymore anyway. Some of the things he was didn't have a body temperature and others ran surprisingly hot, so it all evened out and simple nature didn't really have a whole lot to do with how he felt anymore.
As soon as Draco had been officially cleared, Draco had started his campaign to return to his position as Slytherin prince. Not that it had surprised Harry in the least. He was all for it in fact, because what made Draco happy made him happy. It was no longer about dark lords and dark marks and survival, it was about power, something which was fundamental to Draco's personality.
One of the first steps was for Draco to reclaim his position on the Quidditch team. That was why Harry was lurking in the shadows. The current captain of the team was playing it very coolly.
There were factions within Slytherin still against Draco because of his ties to a Gryffindor, or at least that was the official line. Harry thought it had more to do with personal dislikes and whose parents had been high up in Voldemort's good graces. Hence the captain of the team was playing at neutrality so as to be able to side with whichever faction finally won. She had demanded tryouts rather than just allowing Draco to make his way onto the team by simple force of character.
Pretty sure that he wouldn't be able to stand being so far away from Draco during what was probably going to be a rough time for his lover, Harry had opted to discretely watch the proceedings. Draco knew he was there, but no one else knew he was out of his room. It seemed safer that way. So far he'd managed to keep himself under control while Draco dodged bludgers and his own teammates in what seemed to be a completely crazy set of exercises. It was utterly obvious Draco was superior in every way to Slytherin's current Seeker, but the captain was still making Draco work for it.
The last test was a simple chase to the snitch; Seeker against Seeker.
Harry could feel Draco's excitement as his lover flashed through the air after the tiny winged ball. It made him smile within his hood as the danger and adrenaline appealed to some of the more excitable aspects of his personality. He had always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie and the changes he had gone through hadn't exactly dampened that. A big part of him wished he could be up there with Draco, racing after the Snitch.
It was completely obvious who was going to win. Draco was way ahead of the other Seeker and the Snitch was all but within touching distance. Harry almost couldn't contain his need to cheer for his lover. Then, in only a moment, everything changed. Cold ice ran up Harry's spine and the thrill of the chase turned into something much more real and much more dangerous. He moved without even thinking, casting off his cloak and running out onto the pitch.
The bludger came from nowhere, clearly charmed as it made an impossible turn towards Draco. It connected with Draco just as his fingers closed around the snitch and he never stood a chance. Harry felt pain and then nothing as Draco crumpled and started to fall off his broom. The bludger had caught Draco squarely in the back and then it bounced up, obviously under someone's control to hit Draco on the back of the head.
Harry didn't need his wand, he just threw pure fury at the charmed ball. As it turned out, his absolute rage looked like purple and black lightning which ripped the bludger into tiny little pieces. He heard someone gasp, as if the power of his anger had fed back to the person controlling the thing, but he didn't care, because all his focus was on Draco.
Draco had been chasing the Snitch, none of the team were close enough to stop him falling and Harry knew without knowing how that the cushioning charms on the pitch to protect practicing players were no longer in place. He reacted without pausing to consider what he was doing, or how; he just jumped, straight up. As Draco fell, Harry leapt to meet him, catching his lover in his arms at least fifty feet in the air. Then it was him that was falling, but it never occurred to him he was doing something impossible. As they neared the ground he didn't even brace for the landing, he just thought about flying and his descent slowed, all but hovering before his feet touched the ground.
Harry looked down and Draco was senseless in his arms. There was blood coming from one of Draco's ears and Harry didn't so much as pause. Running at speed with Draco in his cushioning embrace, he fled towards the hospital wing as fast as his feet would carry him.
Ten minutes later Harry was pacing back and forwards next to the screens Madam Pomfrey had pulled around the bed where she was examining Draco when Dumbledore and Snape arrived.
"Harry, My Dear Boy, is there news?" Dumbledore asked immediately.
Harry shook his head. He was only just keeping it together, but there wasn't a banshee wail building up, so that at least gave him something to focus on. Draco wasn't dying.
"Rest assured, Mr Potter," Snape said in his usual cool tones, "the culprits will be brought to justice. They have fled school grounds, but the authorities have been notified."
That was something and Harry nodded his gratitude. Whoever they were they were undoubtedly lucky all of his attention was on Draco. Frankly he didn't want to know their names until everything was sorted out, because he wasn't sure what he might do with the information. He was getting better at controlling himself all the time, but certain things were outside of his charge. Dumbledore placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and he appreciated the gesture. It was only a moment later Madam Pomfrey appeared from behind the curtains.
"How is young Draco?" Dumbledore asked before Harry could even gather the wits to speak.
"He has two broken ribs, severe bruising of the same area and a fractured skull," Madam Pomfrey explained quickly. "I have placed him in a magical sleep while his injuries heal."
"But he'll be okay?" Harry had to check.
"I believe he will recover fully in a relatively short time," Madam Pomfrey replied.
"You are a credit to your craft as ever," Dumbledore said with a bright smile.
Surprisingly Madam Pomfrey did not immediately smile back.
"Thank you, Headmaster," she replied, "however, I cannot take any credit. I have made him comfortable, but there is other healing magic repairing his injuries. I found indications of a serious brain injury which is already healed and I believe the magical energy within him is moving from most serious to least serious injury."
Harry realised everyone was looking at him.
"I didn't do anything," he protested and then thought about it, "at least I don't think I did."
Sometimes it wasn't easy to tell.
"I caught him and then I ran here, I don't remember doing anything else," is what he eventually decided to say.
Dumbledore squeezed his shoulder in reassurance, although the headmaster's attention returned to the school healer.
"Is there anything you can tell us about this magical healing?" Dumbledore asked.
"While I was assessing Mr Malfoy's head injury I believe I witnessed it close and seal a scalp wound caused by the force of the bludger's impact," Madam Pomfrey replied. "It appeared like a tiny lightning bolt."
That caused Harry's mental processes to do something of a flip.
"White lightning?" he asked, just to check.
Madam Pomfrey lifted one eyebrow, but nodded. Everyone was looking at him again.
"I take it, My Boy, that this is something to do with you then?" Dumbledore asked in a kindly tone.
"Um," he said, "I think it might be. Sometimes ... um ..." he was sure he was blushing, "when Draco and I ... um ... during..." he made some gestures with his hands because this wasn't something he really felt comfortable talking to teachers about, "energy passes from me to him and it looks like little shots of lightning."
"And you did not think this was worth mentioning?" Snape asked, giving him a hard stare.
"It's not like we could demonstrate and it was personal," he snapped back and then bit his tongue. "Sorry," he apologised as soon as he could.
"Well, not to worry, Harry," Dumbledore said, smiling at him, "it would seem you have been shoring up Draco against possible harm, which would make sense, given how protective you are of him."
The way Madam Pomfrey looked at him made Harry think there was more.
"Mr Potter," she said, "there is nothing more I can do for Mr Malfoy and he is quite safe, but I would feel better if I might examine you quickly to make sure this is not affecting your condition."
Harry eyes immediately flicked to the screens.
"I will keep an eye on young Draco for you, Harry," Dumbledore assured him. "I find it always best to follow Madam Pomfrey's requests."
He nodded, agreeing, and forced himself to follow the witch to the next bed, where she asked him to sit down.
"You are probably unaware," Madam Pomfrey said quietly as she cast a simple diagnostic charm on him, "that I was asked to perform a general medical on Mr Malfoy when he returned to school to ascertain his physical condition after his confinement."
She didn't say 'and having contact with you', but Harry kind of felt that was implied.
"Due to the nature of his injuries today I also gave him another thorough scan," she added. "There are virtually no traces of any medical defects remaining, including at least one condition that Mr Malfoy has had since he was a child."
Harry wasn't sure what to say.
"You think I did that?" he asked.
"I can see no other explanation," Madam Pomfrey replied and then hummed under her breath. "You have the same magical energy, Mr Potter," she told him. "I had to request this scan to be sure, but it is quite distinctive once I knew what to look for."
"And I've been passing it to Draco?" he wanted to make sure.
"It would seem so."
Harry let that sink in for a few moments.
"Could it be dangerous to him?" he asked.
"Quite the opposite," Madam Pomfrey said without any nonsense; "I believe you have and are doing Mr Malfoy a considerable service."
That was good news at least.
"I think we should tell Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape," he said as he digested the information.
"As you wish, Mr Potter," Madam Pomfrey said, but she looked pleased.
Having the discussion about what Madam Pomfrey had found and exactly how Harry had transferred the energy to Draco was possibly the most embarrassing conversation Harry had ever had. He was pretty sure he was still blushing several hours later as he sat beside Draco's bed holding Draco's hand and waiting for his lover to wake up.
Ron and Hermione had stopped by as soon as they'd heard, but Madam Pomfrey had been very firm on everything being as quiet as possible around Draco. Only Harry had been allowed to stay and he was on his best behaviour.
"That was a foul ball," was not what Harry expected Draco to say or do first.
Grey eyes flicked open and blinked at him.
"That was a ball spelled to try and kill you," Harry replied, just going with it, because he was so relieved to see Draco awake. "It is now in tiny little pieces."
"And the person or persons who charmed it?" Draco asked, frowning a little and gingerly moving.
Harry could tell the moment Draco realised he didn't hurt like he thought he was supposed to.
"Being chased and I didn't ask for more information or they'd probably end up in tiny little pieces too," he said.
"What happened and why don't I even ache?" Draco asked, pushing himself up onto his elbows. "Has Madam Pomfrey started performing miracles while I was asleep?"
They were all familiar with magical healing and even magic usually left some side effects behind.
"The bludger knocked you out, you fell, I caught you and brought you here," Harry explained and then stopped talking, because that was the easy part.
"And?" Draco pushed, raising an eyebrow at him.
Harry had never been great with explanations.
"Found out what the lightning is," was what he decided to go for.
Draco gave him a less than patient look.
"It's healing energy," he continued when it was clear he wasn't going to get away with anything less; "seems I've been trying to make sure no one can hurt you in more ways than one."
"So what, it's just been floating around in me until I needed it?" Draco asked.
Harry really would have loved to say yes.
"Kind of," he replied.
"Kind of how?"
"It's been fixing you from the inside out," he admitted, "including some childhood condition that Madam Pomfrey didn't tell me what it was, but it's apparently gone."
Both of Draco's eyebrows all but hit his hairline.
"I knew those bruises from that fight disappeared too quickly," is what Draco said eventually.
Draco flopped back down on the bed and looked up at the ceiling for a while. He looked as if he was thinking deep thoughts, but Harry couldn't take it for long.
"Are you upset?" he asked, because he was feeling very human and very vulnerable right at the moment.
The sharp eyed gaze that came his way softened almost immediately and he found his hand being squeezed.
"Idiot Gryffindor," Draco said and sat up properly so they were much closer together, "why, by Merlin, would I be upset?"
"I didn't ask," Harry pointed out.
"You didn't even know," Draco countered. "At least now we know what's going on."
"So you don't mind having unknown magic bouncing around inside you?"
"It's not unknown," Draco told him in a very put upon tone; "it's yours."
"It could have unforeseen consequences."
"It did, I didn't die."
Harry realised he was growling quietly after Draco reminded him about that. Draco leant over and placed a hand on the side of his face.
"There is no point in worrying," Draco told him and then kissed him.
"You're the Slytherin, you're supposed to worry about things like this," Harry replied once he remembered that he was supposed to be thinking.
"It's to my advantage," Draco replied and almost sounded like he used to before, all superior and proud, "I choose not to worry."
There were probably many things Harry could have said to that, but he'd been on edge for far too long. It really wasn't a good idea to let himself become too worked up if he could help it. He knew if Draco had a problem his lover would tell him; Draco was that sort of person so he let it go. Instead of speaking, he leant in this time and stole another kiss. Worry for him tended to come out in one of two ways these days, destroying things or making sure Draco was still very much his. He hadn't destroyed anything all afternoon which left only one avenue.
The kiss deepened and Harry wound his arms around Draco and pulled him in. It was only Draco breaking away that stopped him going further.
"You are aware if we have sex on this bed Madam Pomfrey will kill us both and no one will even ever find the bodies," Draco pointed out.
Harry almost didn't care, but only almost, which probably said a great deal about Madam Pomfrey.
"We need to get you discharged," he all but whined.
Draco had the gall to laugh at him.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/275984.html.