DESPITE WHAT THE RATING (G) IS ON HERE, THIS STORY IS RATED R!!!
This chapter is written in Harry's Point of View. Every other chapter will be Harry's, and I will keep you informed on who's POV it is. If I switch in the middle of the chapter (which will hopefully rarely happen), I'll tell you in bold print.
Harry is very OOC in his thoughts, but when he speaks, I think he's very in character. Nobody knows what Harry's thinking, so technically, he can't be OOC. Can he?
I'm not sure about Draco, though. JKR doesn't spend enough time on him to know. So, I think Draco is hardly OOC in this.
December 16, 1997
"Professor Snape, follow me to the Hospital Wing. Professors and prefects, bring your students back to your Houses," Dumbledore said, but looked directly at me. He had straightened up now, and Pansy Parkinson was helping Blaise out of the Great Hall, crying herself.
"What about going home?" Seamus muttered to Dean, who shrugged slightly. "We're still going home, aren't we?"
I felt a little angry, but the initial shock was what kept me from yelling at Seamus. Instead, Ron answered, saying, "Of course we're still going home, Seamus. We didn't do anything wrong."
Ron was right, but it was the way that he said it that made Hermione slap his arm.
"That wasn't nice, Ron! Malfoy is probably going to die!"
"That's not what Zabini said!" Dean argued her, and before hell broke loose, I pulled Hermione and Ron away from the table. My heart was in my throat, and my stomach was at the floor. I hoped my face didn't show the way I felt.
"Come on," I said quietly, and pulled them toward the Entrance Hall, where the Head Boy and Girl were beckoning everyone to go back and finish packing.
Quietly, the three of us scooted out of eyesight, and into the corridor before the mass of people came. We didn't say a word-just walked. We knew where we were going, but that was a story for another time.
Up the staircases, toward the Gryffindor House. We passed the Fat Lady, and continued down the long corridor until we got to a large picture frame of dogs playing poker. It was an unusual picture, even for Hogwarts, but it had a history, so we never questioned it.
Our password had to be something nobody would ever guess, even if their life depended on it. We had relied on Fred and George to give us a good one, but in the end, we stuck with 'Spearmint Rhino'.
Before we even closed the portrait hole, Hermione had burst into tears. She burried her face into my robes, since I was the closest (Ron was still closing the door), and she clung to the front of my clothes with her balled up fists. I didn't know she'd get so upset.
"It's not fair!" She wailed, tightening her hold on the material of the school uniform.
"What's not fair, 'Mione?" I asked quietly, patting her back awkwardly. Ron stared at her a minute before limping (he'd injured himself in a Quidditch Game we put on with other Gryffindor's) over to a table and grabbing a box of tissues.
"Draco Malfoy! It's horrible. Why would anybody do that to themselves?" I could feel her makeup rubbing off onto my clothes. Great.
"I don't know," I gratefully took the tissues that were offered to me, and wiped Hermione's cheeks gently. "Sometimes, people don't have answers for those questions."
"Yeah," Ron piped up, sitting down on the couch beside the fireplace. The design for this room, I noticed when Dumbledore had first showed me, was much like the Gryffindor Common Room, except it was only a Common Room. "They croak before we can find out why they did it."
"Ron," I moaned as Hermione started to cry again. Ron shrugged. "That isn't helping, and you know it! 'Mione, come on, I'm sure it isn't that bad. I mean, it's Malfoy we're talking about. Maybe it's just a prank."
"It isn't a prank. Zabini wouldn't have cried, Harry, and you know it!" Hermione pushed back from me and wiped her face. "I'm getting out of here."
We watched her stomp out of the room, slamming the picture shut behind her. Ron shrugged helplessly, and I put my head in my hands, rubbing my head. She was right-it wasn't a prank.
"Ron," I turned my attention back to my red-haired friend. He was massaging his sore knee, and his jaw was set. "You shouldn't have said that."
"No," I shook my head and stuck my hands in my pockets. "Ron, no. You know what happened last year."
Ron was silent, remembering what had happened the year before. Malfoy had "liked" Hermione. We (as in Ron and myself) decided against telling Hermione that we thought it was BS. They were partnered up for a History of Magic project, and since we aren't in Hermione's class, we didn't see how it all 'went down'. Apparently, through what Hermione said (and girls like to make somethings up), he began talking to her about 'girl things'. It made Malfoy sound really gay.
They had gone to Hogsmeade together, and ditched us. Don't get me wrong-I'm so glad I didn't have to spend the entire day, watching Malfoy make "lovey" faces at Hermione. I think he did it to make someone jealous.
It didn't last long. A month, maybe. Okay, it was longer than Ron and I had hoped it'd be. But the breakup wasn't bad. Hermione knew Ron and I hated him, and Malfoy knew it too. So they parted ways, and went back to the way it used to be. The insults about mudbloods were back, as well as all the other Draco Malfoy goodness.
We missed it.
"Harry?" Ron asked, struggling to stand up from the couch. "Can we just get out of here? This place is depressing me. Everytime something bad happens we come in here."
I looked up from my feet, and nodded. "Okay. I'll help you finish pack."
"Did you hear about the Canons?"
Ron's question made me forget about Malfoy for the time, and our moods lifted as we talked about Quidditch.
I shoved my hands into my pockets and watched the last of the Slytherin girls (coughPansycough) leave Hogwarts before the Entrance doors slammed shut, blocking more rain from entering the school. I think Snape did something to make the weather fit the school's mood. You know, Snape is like that. Moody, anyway. Dark, scary, and moody. He probably likes to play in the rain and mud puddles at home. Maybe that's where he was going to do when he got back from taking the Slytherin's to the train station. I'd like to see that.
All of the Slytherin's had changed their minds, and tried staying back at school, to be with Malfoy. I'd do the same, if he were in my House. Snape, though, forced them to go on, saying that Malfoy wouldn't be out of the Hospital Wing until after Christmas Vacation. Maybe later.
The real reasons Snape didn't want the Slytherin's to stay behind were these:
One-The only Slytherin staying behind was Malfoy. Even Crabbe and Goyle weren't allowed to stay back. I wondered if I had been in Malfoy's position, would Hermione and Ron be forced to go home?
Two-Snape wanted to play in the rain without any witnesses.
"Good afternoon, Harry."
I looked up, and saw that I was still standing in the wet Entrance Hall. Professor Lupin tilted his head and grinned at me, but it was forced. Maybe he was trying to sneak out and play in the puddles as well? Make a date with Snape?
"'Lo, professor," I said, and fell into step with him as we made our way toward Gryffindor House. "How are you?"
"Tired," Lupin sighed, and if I looked hard enough, I could see the bags under his eyes. He looked healthy, though, and that was always a good sign. "Why aren't you with your friends?"
"I wanted them with their own families. I can see them anytime. Besides," We rounded a corner. "I've got a lot of homework to catch up on."
"Well, I'm glad you're here. I've been wanting to speak to you about Sirius and graduation."
I moaned. "Hermione's been bothering me about graduation for months. It isn't even until next year!"
"Harry," Lupin put his hands to his temples and massaged them slowly. His gray speckled hair fell into his eyes as he looked back up at me. It bothered me when he did that (which was a lot). Maybe he felt sexy like that. "Hermione is right to be bothering you about it. You really need to focus on it."
"I really need to focus on school work as well. And Quidditch-can't forget that."
Something was bothering Professor Lupin. I could tell. Whenever the Full Moon came up, he had this look. But it was only a week ago, so I knew that wasn't it. Maybe he had been looking for me, because maybe something happened.
Maybe Malfoy hadn't made it.
Fear suddenly washed over me in a huge, cold blanket. My hands clenched inside my pockets. "Professor? Is everything okay?"
He knew he couldn't lie to me. It was a promise we made to each other at the beginning of my fifth year. We'd never lie to each other, and if we did, it had to be for good reason. We hadn't lied to each other yet.
"Er, no, Harry," Lupin stopped beside his office door. How had we gotten here so quickly? "Look, step into my office. We need to discuss something."
Oh God, here it came. 'Harry, I'm gay'. Or maybe it was 'Harry, look, I know you were hoping you could move in with Sirius soon, and you still can, but we're getting married. I know it'd be hard for you..'.
No, it wouldn't be that. For one thing, Lupin wasn't gay. A gay lyncanthrope? I grinned at that. And for another thing-I've seen him flirt with girls. It's..not pretty.
"Sit down, please, Harry," He instructed, pointing to an empty chair. I sat.
He pulled a chair up and sat down across the table from me, his jaw set. Maybe he was going to tell me something too personal to want to know..
"Lucius Malfoy and his wife are here. We didn't want any students around to hear anything that might be said. I was looking for you," He paused, and touched his fingertips together in thought. "Draco-he'll make it through the day. Or at least, that's what has been told. His condition is too critical still to move him to a real hospital, which is why Lucius is here. He's raising all sorts of hell in Dumbledore's office."
I thought about what Lupin said a moment. Of course Lucius and his wife would show up. I had seen them earlier. Narcissa had been sobbing, while Lucius strode ahead of her, his head held high. It made Ron and I sick.
"Harry? What are you thinking?"
Lupin peered curiously at me. I must've been silent a while. I blushed slightly, and began to speak.
"I don't know. I guess I'm wondering why Malfoy did it."
"Dumbledore thinks something happened to him over the summer," Lupin sat back and eyed me. "Lucius is denying it, of course. Any parent would, when they're in a situation like this."
It struck me as funny. Lucius Malfoy, in denial? Of course not.
My amusement must've shown because Lupin stood up. "It's not funny, Harry! Dammit."
"No! I wasn't laughing at that!" I insisted, standing up as well.
Okay, so I was laughing at that. Sue me.
"Harry," Lupin stared hard at me. "Dumbledore might lose his job over this. Lucius is saying he should've payed more attention. While, yes, we noticed Draco's behavoir had changed, and yes, we asked him in private if he was okay, Dumbledore didn't have to pay attention to him. He can't pay attention to every single student."
"Yeah," I agreed, not knowing what else to say.
"Lucius will find a way to get Dumbledore fired for this. I want you to stay out of the Hospital Wing, if at all possible. I know you have a tendency to fall and break a leg, but please try and be careful. And don't go into the Wing to see Draco, okay?"
Dammit. Hermione made me swear I'd check up on him tonight. Dammit dammit dammit.
"Yes, professor," I said, and decided to change the subject quickly. "What did you want to say to me? About Sirius?"
"Not now," Lupin shook his head. "After supper."
"Oh, okay," I shrugged. What else would I do after dinner? Probably nothing. "Well, I should go start my work."
Lupin nodded, and didn't say anything else. He was probably really upset about Malfoy. Or maybe he was thinking about mud puddles and Snape. God, Malfoy's almost dead in the Hospital Wing and for some reason I'm thinking about my teachers being gay. What the hell is wrong with me?
I turned to leave, when Lupin's voice stopped me. "Harry, if you ever feel like..like Draco did, or does, you know you've got your family and friends here to help you, right?"