Spoilers: SS, CoS, PoA, GoF, OoTP, HBP
Shipper: Slight Draco/Harry, more pronounced in future chapters.
Warnings: Slash and Angst
Summary: The Summer after Harry's sixth year, he is in search for the final Horcruxes. The search leads him to Draco Malfoy, who is awaiting his execution in an Azkaban cell. Is it possible that Draco Malfoy isn't as guilty as Harry thought?
Disclaimer: The characters and places all belong to JKR. The lyrics belong to the Libertines.
Authors Note: This might become a chaptered story. I was thinking about Harry leaving, and the thought that Malfoy might not be as guilty as everyone thinks he is. That would bother Harry. So for now i'm saying this is a WIP.
For those of you who have been following along with The Mirror of Erised, I am not stopping with that one. I was just inspired to write this one, so pursued it. I'll still be adding on to The Mirror of Erised.
It's only my second story. So, don't be to harsh.
An ending fitting for the start
you twist and tore our love apart
your light fingers through the dark
that shattered the lamp and into the darkness cast us...
No you've got it the wrong way round
you shut me up and blamed it on the brown
cornered the boy kicked out at the world...the world kicked back
alot fuckin' harder now
The Libertines - Can't Stand Me Now
Azkaban was dark and dank. It was as though the dementors that had once inhabited those very walls had left an imprint of themselves behind. Security Wizards stood in front of every cell. Prisoners leered out at Harry as he walked by and shouted obscenities.
When Harry reached the cell he was looking for, he did not let out a sigh of relief. Instead he braced himself for what lay ahead.
Harry had come to Azkaban on the misty Saturday evening on business. A mere six months after Dumbledore's funeral and the idea that Malfoy was near made his blood boil with anger.
He recalled the last six months. The summer after they left Hogwarts had been filled with the searches for Horcruxes. He had found two in the time between last spring and this October evening. One was the Hufflepuff Goblet, and another a necklace that belonged to Rowena Ravenclaw. Hermione, Ron and himself had been hot on the trail of one more Horcrux, that had lead him to the Azkaban Fortress this evening.
During Snape's trial (he had been found four months after killing Dumbledore, and arrested), He had tried to get a lesser plea but revealing some top secret information. He had said to the Ministry Wizards questioning him, that a Horcrux was in the Malfoy's possession. He had told the two Ministry Officials that after killing The Bones family over summer vacation Voldemort had gone to see Narcissa Malfoy about one of the Malfoy Family's Heir Looms. Narcissa who had been staying at Snape's cottage in Spinners End, had been in the living room when Voldemort had arrived. Snape, had sat in with them, while he asked to have the family stone ring that was passed from Lucius's Father to Lucius, and was set to be passed to Draco Malfoy very soon. Narcissa had handed it over, since it was in her possession (when Malfoy Senior was arrested all the items on him were owled to Narcissa). Voldemort had pocketed it, and told her that it was to be used for a good cause.
Or so that's what the Ministry Officials had told both the Order and Harry.
The Order hadn't known about the Horcruxes until Snape had told them, which made his hatred for Snape boil even stronger. It wasn't that he didn't trust the Order, it was that Harry was sure a spy for the Death Eaters was within the group. He wasn't sure who, but he knew Voldemort had one.
He had tried to trace the ring. Or at least try and find it in the abandoned Malfoy Manor, but it was no where to be found. He knew it'd be someplace unexpected, for when Voldemort heard that the Order knew, he surely was going to move the ring. The second place Harry was going to look for it was with Draco Malfoy. He thought perhaps, one of the Death Eaters had snuck it to him to keep safe during visiting hours. It was a long shot, but right now, it was all he had.
That's why Harry was within the dark halls of Azkaban, on this dark evening. To ask Malfoy about the ring.
A dark haired man, with a tall lanky figure sat on a chair in front of the cell. The man wore a guard's uniform, of black material with a yellow badge on the front. He was reading a book. The guard sitting in front of the cell, at the end of the cell block on the third floor, looked up at him.
"I'm guessing you are the visitor I was told to be expectin'?" The Guards eye's roamed over his bangs, and to his scar. "You're the last person I expected to be visiting this bag of scum. Name's Charlie by the way," He told Harry not bothering to keep his voice down. He half expected Malfoy to shout out insults from within the cell, but not a sound escaped the bars.
"I had some questions for him." He told Charlie. "Private Business Matters." He added, hoping the guard would get the point, open the cell and leave.
"Good luck with that. He hasn't been eating, refusing the food. We bring it in, and take it out in the evenings and everything is still there. Hasn't been talking either. Silent. He refused to speak at his own trial and argue his case as well. Most of the prisoners at least go to the hearing, if not for there own good but then to get out of here for awhile. But not this bloke."
Harry didn't know what to say. His anger peaked when he heard the last part. He had known Malfoy hadn't showed up to the hearing, because he had gone. He wanted Malfoy to beg for his life, and lose all sense of pride. Harry hadn't known that Malfoy hadn't been eating or talking, that would make his job harder.
"He won't last much longer if he doesn't eat. We won't have to bring him to execution either. It was kind of pointless to have the hearing." The guard mused to himself more then to Harry.
"Mmm can you open the door?" He asked, not bothering to even sound polite. He didn't want to hear all this, he just wanted to get the ring and then leave.
"Okay. I'll walk the cell block then come back to make sure everything is okay." Charlie waved his wand at the cell door and muttered a spell Harry couldn't make out. The cell door opened, sliding all the way to the right. Harry walked through and once more it closed. "Just call me when you are done and I’ll let you out."
Harry turned his eyes from the semi-darkness of the corridor, to the pitch black of the cell. It took a few minutes for his eye's to adjust, so he could just make out a mattress with a figure laying on it.
"Malfoy?" He asked, The body didn't move. He could hear soft breathing in the corner, that itself quelled any worry that the Death Eater might be dead. He was there last hope of finding the ring at the moment, and it'd be just like Malfoy to die when Harry didn't want him to. "Malfoy? It's Harry Potter."
The person on the mattress didn't move. His breathing didn't hitch, any sign of surprise was lost to Malfoy.
"I came to ask you about... the Malfoy family ring." This got a reaction. Draco Malfoy rolled over and peered up through the darkness at Harry. The expression on his face was a mixture of pity and fear.
He took a step closer to the bed. Malfoy didn't say a word, he just stared at Harry, his eye's never moving from Potters face. It made him think of when a shark was put in a cage with fish, the fish watched the shark for signs of an upcoming attack. Malfoy was acting like Harry was going to take out his wand and curse him. It was on one of the top five things he'd like to do in his lifetime, but he definitely didn't want to do it now when he needed Malfoy's connections. The look of fear and raw emotion brought up pity despite himself, in Harry.
As his eyes adjusted even better to the light, he noticed just how skinny Malfoy was. Harry was sure that if Malfoy's shirt was off, he'd be able to count every rib easily.
"Malfoy I don't have time to play games, where is the ring?"
Malfoy lay back down on his mattress, with his back to Harry. Anger boiled in his throat and threatened to choke him. Harry strode to the side of Malfoy's bed in three easy steps. He rolled the blond on his back, and shook him.
"Do you hear me? I don't have time for this! Lives depend on that ring being found!"
Mid shake a glimmer of something gold slipped out from behind Malfoy's shirt. Harry let the other boy fall back onto the mattress, he took a hold of the glimmering gold chain. Malfoy was wearing the ring, on a necklace around his neck. Harry fingered the stone until he found the Malfoy Family Crest on the side.
"So this is it?" He said, more to himself then to Malfoy. He didn't expect the blond boy to respond. Harry unhooked the chain from Malfoy's neck without asking. "I will need this," He explained, putting the ring in his pocked, and handing the necklace back to Malfoy. It fell through Malfoy's hands and into his lap. He didn't move to pick it up, he just laid back down.
"Can I ask you a question, Malfoy?" He didn't wait for an answer, before asking the question that had been nagging at him. "Why didn't you fight for yourself at your trial? You might have had a chance since you didn't perform the killing curse..."
For the first time that evening a flicker of recognition at Harry's words shined behind Malfoy's eyes.
Draco Malfoy spoke, his voice was hoarse as though it hadn't been used in years: "Because I’m a Malfoy. Innocent until proven guilty? No. I was born guilty and nothing I could have said would have changed anyone’s mind."
To Be Continued...
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