Not my characters, JKR's, not what I'd normally be up to, not quite sure how I ended up enjoying writing this quite so much.
Some degree of shagging, tastefully ellided.
H/D, because what's the purpose of HP fic if it's not?And it appears to be Part One ...
It was cold here. But he knew not to complain, because cold was better than dark, and anything was better than dead. Snape had left him enough food to last him through the week, and there were blankets he could huddle under, books and old letters to read.
Draco was glad of the distraction. Unoccupied, his mind kept returning to that scene on Hogwarts’ roof. The gentleness of Dumbledore … he had expected fury, rage, grief at the betrayal … but the man had offered to help him. And then Snape had … Draco picked up the nearest book at random and read intently. It was a novel, a bad one, about a friendship between a wizard and a giant. He read a few pages, then dropped it back onto the threadbare sofa, pushing himself up to walk around and warm the blood in his legs.
Giants were no more likely to befriend wizards than Dumbledore had been likely to protect him. The Dark Lord had them fighting on his side, but once the war was over, they would be on their own side, with their own list of demands. Everyone had a list of demands. Kill Dumbledore, get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts, be a proper Malfoy, stay quiet, stay hidden, wait till we can find a use for you.
He smiled ruefully. Three years ago he thought that the worst of his problems was losing at Quidditch to bloody Potter. He’d pay to go back to those days, now. He had thought there was high drama in a House prize, and that a victory in Potions meant something, then. The heights of joy had been found in swanning about the Slytherin common room and making Harry Potter’s life miserable.
Potter. God, what would Potter be doing without his precious Dumbledore? Three years ago Draco would have gloated that his hero was stronger than Potter’s. Now he felt a stirring of empathy. They’d both been left abandoned in this war. Potter had lost just as much as he had. More. Every one who had ever stood as a parent to him had been taken away, one by one. Just as Draco’s father had chosen the Dark Lord over him, and his mother had chosen his father, and Snape had …
To be honest, Draco had no idea what Snape had chosen. His former teacher appeared for half a day every week, gave brief updates, restocked the larders, then left. What passed for conversation between them was lists. Lists of the living and of the dead. Of those who had declared themselves for the Dark Lord and those who had been killed by his forces. Of towns that stood, of towns that fell. Lists that described a world ever shrinking, descending into one overwhelming conflict. Draco had come to dread Snape’s visits.
At least, said a quiet voice deep inside him, at least your family is still alive.
Draco picked up the wretched book again and began to read in the light of the small lamp. Outside the wind blew fiercely, and the black curtains that covered the cottage’s windows stirred, even behind their closed windows and shutters.
With a sharp crack, the door flew inwards and Draco realised, too late, that the weather had been calm. He lunged for his wand, but as his hand closed around it, a familiar voice cried “Expelliarmus
!” and it flew out of reach.
Potter stood in the open doorway, his arm outstretched, with wand at the ready. Sunlight blazed behind the younger man and Draco couldn’t see Potter’s face clearly, but he didn’t have to. There was only one path left to him, now, and he chose to face it with dignity. With his hands open and lifted away from his sides, he stood up straight. “Finish it,” he said. “You win, just let it end.”
Potter took two swift strides towards him, there was a crash of pain, and then blackness.Part Two