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The Last Man Standing by _Lady Marauder_
Chapter 2 : Meeting at the Three Broomsticks
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6

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A/N: Please remember to review at the end!

Harry was being ridiculous and he knew it.  He was standing in front of his mirror, trying to pick out a shirt.  It was between the faded black one pledging his everlasting allegiance to The Clash, and the turquoise one that proclaimed his love for Snickers candy bars.  They were the only clean things in his entire apartment, because he just never felt like doing the wash.  Ultimately, he decided Clash outclassed Snickers, despite their chocolaty goodness.

            He ran his hand though his hair, making it wilder than it had been before.  He didn’t know why he wound so tight over meeting Malfoy.  For some reason, Harry felt as if he needed to prove something.  It was what that something was that he couldn’t figure out.

            He looked at his clock on the wall.  He should be there in ten minutes, so he better get a move on.  He subconsciously picked up the black sweatshirt that was his constant companion when he was in muggle clothes.  Ginny had given it to him about six months ago, as some sort of peace offering, or attempt to pull him out of his depression.  Three months later, when she realized that hadn’t worked, she tried again, this time with a Nintendo 64.  It was a nice try, but did nothing for their relationship, or for Harry.

            Slowly, he put the ragged sweatshirt down and went to his closet.  From the back, he pulled out a leather jacket that he had gotten one year for Christmas and never wore again.  He didn’t know what it was that motivated him to do that…


            Harry arrived at the Three Broomsticks to find Malfoy—er, Draco, already sitting at the table.  Harry walked over slowly, biding his time.  Draco looked up as he came over to the table.  “Took you long enough,” he said snappily.

            Harry rolled his eyes and sighed.  “Look Malfoy, if this whole thing is going to go down like this the entire time, I’ll just leave now so I don’t waste my time.”

            “No,” Draco replied.  “It won’t, I’m sorry.  Go ahead and sit.”  Harry nodded and sat at the other chair.  An awkward silence fell on the pair.  “So,” Draco drawled slowly.  “Are we going to get this little therapy session on the road or what?”

            “It’s not therapy, Malfoy.”

            Draco put his butterbeer down on the table—rather harder than Harry thought the situation called for.  He pointed his finger at Harry.  “Do not call me that.”

            Harry was floored.  “That is your name isn’t it?”

            Draco sat back in his chair.  “Yeah,” he said quietly, casting his eyes downward.  “Unfortunately.”

            “Unfortunately?  Why?”

            “Oh, what’s this going to be now, my therapy session?”

            “Draco,” Harry said softly.  “Why is it unfortunate?”

            Draco looked at Harry as if he had just grown two heads.  “You just don’t get it do you Potter?”  He asked incredulously.  “My whole life I have been battered around by my family, the Malfoys.  Forced to do their dirty work…their every whim, actually.  People assumed I must have wanted it, just because I conceded with them.”  He shook his head.  “Can you imagine what would have happened if I didn’t concede with them?”

            “You would probably be dead,” Harry added.

            “Yeah,” Malfoy looked up at him.  “Exactly.  People do not understand that I never had a choice.  And, of course, now that I do have a choice, they think I am lying.”  He scoffed.  “So, if you think you are the only one who had been scarred by the war Harry, you are wrong.  Dead wrong.”

            Harry just stared at Draco for a moment.  “I—I never knew that you—”

            “Had a heart?”  He finished sarcastically.  “Yeah, a lot of people never knew that.”

            “So, all those years of us, fighting and such, what was that?”

            Draco blushed.  “Well, that was more real than anything else,” he admitted.  “But it came part and parcel with what I was forced to do.  You denied my hand in friendship, so I was forced to ‘hate’ you.  That’s not to say there weren’t moments when I really did hate you.”

            Harry nodded slowly.  “I can’t believe I never knew any of this,” he said, putting his hands in the air dramatically.  Draco just looked at him.  “What?”

            “So what about you?”  Draco asked smoothly.  “Why are your knickers in a twist?”

            “I don’t know,” Harry said honestly.  He took a deep breath, and put his head in his hands.  “I have never told anybody what really happened during the war.”  He looked at Draco with cascades of emotion in his eyes.  “Don’t tell anybody, not yet.  You’re the only one who can know.”

            Draco nodded.  “Whatever you say, Harry.”

            “Everybody knows the part about how Ron, Hermione and I were off around the country.”  Draco nodded.  “We were searching for Voldemort’s Horcruxes.”  Draco’s eyes widened.  “You know what they are then?  Good, I won’t have to explain it.  He had seven of them.  The first one was the diary that I destroyed in second year with the basilisk fang.  Dumbledore destroyed the second one sixth year, it was a ring.  We went to get the third together in a coastal cave.”  He looked up at Draco.  “That was when we came back, on the Astronomy Tower.”

            Draco paled.  “Listen, Harry.  I never would have done it.  They told me I had to but I couldn’t, they had gone one step too far.  I was going to come over to your side.”

            He nodded.  “I get it Draco.  Don’t worry; I never really blamed his death on you anyways.”  He took a deep breath and continued.  “The locket turned out to be a fake.  It was all for nothing anyways.  After the Death Eater’s crashed Bill and Fleur’s wedding, we knew we had to make a run for it. We went to Grimmauld Place for a while, but of course, nothing good can last.  It was actually easier when we were on the run through the countryside.  But we faced horrors you cannot even imagine.”  He gazed off into the distance for a moment, and was drawn back into the present forcefully.

            “I—I can’t cover everything we did.  There is too much, and to tell you the truth, much of it has blurred in my memory.  We destroyed Slytherin’s locket with Gryffindor’s sword.  We broke into Gringotts for Hufflepuff’s cup, and rode a dragon out.”  Draco looked skeptical at that last bit.  “Between all of that, we broke into the Ministry, and got imprisoned in the Manor.”  Draco looked ashamed of himself.  “But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as you will see in a moment.  We went to Hogsmeade, and from there entered the castle.  We still had three Horcruxes left, and we thought all hope was lost.  We knew that one—Ravenclaw’s diadem—was in the castle, in the room with everything in it.  That is where we met with you, and, well, you know what happened.  Anyways, we destroyed that one too.”

            Harry put his head in his hands again.  “I forgot something crucial.  You know The Tale of the Three Brothers?”  Draco nodded.  “Death’s three gifts are called the Deathly Hallows.”

“But that is just a folktale.”

Harry shook his head.  “It’s true.  My Invisibility Cloak is Ignotus’ gift.”  Understanding dawned on Draco.  “And the other two, those are real also—and they fell into my hands.  That will be important later.”  He paused.  “Voldemort was planning to use my death as his final Horcrux.  But when he was defeated, that piece of his soul blew into me.  It explains so much.  In order for Voldemort to die, I had to as well.”

“Then how did you—”

“I’ll get there,” Harry said, holding up a hand.  “I was dead already; I was on my death march, so I didn’t have anything to lose.  I conjured them up—my parents and Sirius—with Cadmus’ Hallow, the Resurrection Stone.  And they were all there suddenly, all the people, all of the family who I loved who had died.  They were more than I thought they were.  They told me—they told me about dying.  It wasn’t that bad, they said.  They were right, it wasn’t bad at all.  It didn’t feel like anything.”

“Wait, Harry,” Draco said loudly.  “You don’t mean to tell me that Voldemort killed you?”

“That is what I mean to tell you, it’s what happened after all.  This is going to sound strange, but I went to King’s Cross.  At least, it looked like King’s Cross, but it was in my mind.  Dumbledore’s spirit was there, so that’s how I knew that Voldemort killed me.  There was something on the ground, something…repulsive.  Dumbledore said it was one part of Voldemort: the part that he killed unknowingly when he sent the Killing Curse at me.  He told me that I had a choice.  I could go on to…wherever people go after they die, or I could return to my body to face Voldemort one last time.  I took the second choice, obviously.  I came back, and Voldemort was still in the clearing, rejoicing over my death.  He told Narcissa, your mother, to check my pulse, to see if I was really dead.” 

Draco’s eyes widened at the mention of his mother.  “I never heard about any of this.  What did she do?”

“She saved me,” Harry said simply.  “She felt my pulse, which was racing, but she didn’t rat me out.  She asked me if you were alive, and when I said yes, she proclaimed me dead to Voldemort.”  Draco’s eyes shone with pride.  Harry wondered if Narcissa too, like Draco, had only been playing along in order to preserve her life.  “Hagrid was there when everything happened.  He carried my body back to the castle, and laid it on the ground in front of the students.  Since I was supposed to be dead, I couldn’t gather everything that happened, but Neville chopped off the head of Voldemort’s great snake Nagini.  She was his final Horcrux.  He was human once again, now all I needed to do was kill him.  And that is where the third Hallow comes into play:  the Elder Wand.  Voldemort thought he had it. Dumbledore was its last owner.  He broke into Dumbledore’s tomb and stole the wand from him.  He didn’t know that the power didn’t lie in the wood, it was transferred to whoever forcefully took the wand from its previous owner.”

“I disarmed him,” Draco said suddenly.  “In the Astronomy Tower, I disarmed him.  I took his wand from him against his will.”  Harry nodded.  Draco caught on fast.  “And then you took my wand from me, in the Manor when you were escaping.”  Harry nodded again.  “So, you had the Elder Wand, not Voldemort?”

“That is exactly right.  And everyone knows what happened after that, with the duel and the aftermath.”

Draco was silent for a moment.  “I can’t believe it,” he said, amazed.  “I never knew you did so much for everyone.  Why would you do it?”

“Because someone needed to and because I was the one who destiny picked for the job.  If you were in my position, you would have done the same.”

“How do you know?”

“I don’t,” he said truthfully.  “But I think it’s a safe assumption.”

Draco nodded, and looked at the ground.  “Thank you, I guess.  For everything you did.  It’s also a safe assumption to say that none of us would be here today without you.”

Harry stared to Draco for a moment.  Who knew that he was actually a sincere person?  He must be a brilliant actor, because Harry certainly never did.  “Alright,” he said.  “Let’s not turn this into a soap opera.”  They sat in silence for a moment.  “Ever play Starfox on the ‘64?”

Draco looked at Harry like he was speaking in a different language.  “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Starfox on the Nintendo 64.”

“What is that?  Some sort freak code language I don’t understand?”

Harry gaped.  “Don’t tell me you haven’t played a Nintendo 64 before.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Potter.”

Harry hung his head.  “This is a sin against the male species.  Come on.”

Draco looked up, confused.  “Where are we going, Potter?”

“My apartment.  Ginny got me a Nintendo 64 a few months ago.  If you haven’t played Starfox that means you haven’t played Super Smash Brothers and that is punishable by death.”  Harry glanced at Draco again, shaking his head.  “I cannot believe it…”

Harry and Draco left the bar together.  Harry never realized that he was acting like a normal person.  He didn’t realize that his interactions with Draco marked the first time he had felt any sort of noteworthy emotion in the past year.  He didn’t realize that Draco might be the only thing left that could save him.HaH

A/N: Well, there we go, chapter two! Lemme know what you think in that little grey review box down there!

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