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Bend or Break by charlottetrips
Chapter 2 : Chapter Two
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 44

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Chapter Two

Harry paused outside the door of another private room of St. Mungo's. He wasn't certain what exactly he was coming here for—to rage at the man or thank him. The last time Harry saw him flashed through his mind, the tall lanky unconscious form placed on a white hospital bed as Healers rushed about, a wicked gash opened up on his head, blood soaking his blond hair, the smell of burned flesh in the air. Harry suppressed a shudder at the image and knew that he wouldn't be yelling at Draco when he walked into the room. He would save that for when the man wasn't lying in a hospital.

He pushed the door open quietly, not wanting to disturb the patient inside in case he was sleeping. With the previous image of Draco still in his mind, Harry was startled when he saw Draco sitting on the edge of his bed, staring straight at him in the doorway. There was a white bandage around Draco's head and his hands were similarly bound, the gray eyes were tired, surrounded by black circles.

The two men locked eyes, each not sure what the other would do next. It had been a number of years since either had seen each other. After the war, Draco had finished his education with a private tutor, his parents pulling completely out of wizarding society and retiring to their country estate in Cornwall. Harry had gone back to Hogwarts with his friends and graduated there.

Harry had heard some pieces of news of Draco from acquaintances and had seen an article or two in the papers. Draco had become something of a playboy to the British witches and wizards and his exploits and wildness had been almost lovingly tracked by the female portion. Harry had also heard of Draco becoming well known in the muggle world. He couldn't recall exactly what it was or even how a Pureblood of Draco's stature would even condescend to doing so.

"Have you come to finish me off?" the fair-haired man drawled, his usual contempt for the Boy Who Lived half-hearted, the weariness of his tone evident. He watched warily as Harry made his way to where he sat, dragging a chair so that he could sit facing him.

"No," Harry replied simply, sober eyes looking at him through his spectacles. Draco wondered absently why the man hadn't gotten contacts by now, trying to distract himself from the pain lancing through him.

Merlin, when he had sat up, the pain that ran through his body was enough to make him double over. He had heard someone outside his door just as he was about to lay back down. But when the door had opened to reveal Harry Potter, there was no way in hell that Draco was going to be caught flat on his back by him, of all people. And so he had stayed sitting up, muscles clenched against the throbbing. It was immature considering the circumstances that had ended up with him in the hospital but at this point, he didn't care.

"I came here to ask you about something." Harry leaned forward in his chair, intent on getting some questions answered.

Draco knew what he wanted to ask about and he wasn't ready to talk about it. His head pulsed. The events of the night before flashed through his mind. Remorse flooded him as he recalled how the fun of the evening turned suddenly to horror.

He had followed Blaise in his car after Blaise had stormed out of the party they'd been at. Blaise was very drunk and Draco had been unable to stop his friend before he'd driven off, so Draco had followed him, hoping he could get him to somehow pull over. Draco had cursed himself for leaving his wand at home.

While he would never admit this to the man who now sat in front of him, he had been terrified as he saw the car in front of him swerve suddenly into the opposite lane and crash straight into an oncoming car, the sound of metal ripping into metal causing ripples of fear in him. The images came one over the other now, unbidden, but unstoppable.

Faster than he could blink, the two cars swung over in his direction, tires squealing, a woman's scream cutting into him. Though he tried, he was unable to take full control of his car to move it out of the way. The initial impact was blank in his mind, all he could recall was the sensation of being thrown and a hard landing that knocked him out.

He woke up some feet away from the cars, flames already starting to lick at the ruined hulks. It had probably only been some seconds that he had been out. He had a hard time focusing, but he knew that he had to get up, if anyone was trapped in those cars, he needed to help them. The burning sensation ripped through his head as he struggled to his feet, like a hot sword splitting open his head. He staggered to the accident.

He stopped at his friend's car first, swallowing down the bile that rushed to his throat upon witnessing the windshield wiper that had gone through Blaise's head. He stumbled away from the grotesque figure and made his way as quickly as he could to the other car, the smell of blood and gasoline and fear latching onto him, filling his lungs. He probably had only another minute before an explosion happened or he collapsed into unconsciousness.

He bent down near the overturned car and was shocked to recognize the people inside—Ron and Hermione. He reached for Hermione first, once again cursing the lack of a wand. His hands encountered her swollen and very pregnant belly in trying to get her unbelted and that fear that had been riding him since the first initial minutes of this nightmare turned into full-blown panic. He got her out of the car as fast as possible, ignoring the pain that slashed through his hands as the temperature of the metals increased. He struggled to bring the unconscious woman as far away from the cars as he could before heading back to her car to get Ron. The warmth of the spring air was swallowed up in the growing heat from the flames. Just before he could reach the cars again, he heard a soft sound of release and was thrown back by an explosion as the cars were consumed by eager flames.

Draco landed near where he'd left Hermione. He turned to check on her, her head turned to the side, dark hair spread out around her, one hand resting on her stomach. His eyes fell on the wand slipping out of her coat and he reached for it. Using the last of his strength, Draco sent a flare up, no longer caring if it was muggles or wizards who found them, just so long as help came.

Draco had woken up in the bed he was currently sitting on. In the quiet of his room, he'd examined his bandaged hands and tried to flex them, only to have needles of pain shoot up his arms which seemed to cause a chain reaction in his body, setting off his other injuries; his head throbbed painfully, in tempo to his rapidly beating heart.

He realized he hadn't said anything since Harry's statement, several moments having passed in silence. Draco glanced at him. Harry was still in the position of intense interest. While Draco didn't want to tell the whole story, there were several things that he wanted to ask the man, as he had been insensible for the past however many hours. He knew he would have to tell Harry something.

"Who survived the accident?" His voice was rough, hollow. He already knew that his best mate hadn't survived and was sure that Ron Weasley hadn't either but he didn't know about Hermione and he didn't want to ask Harry outright either.

He wasn't sure where this concern had come from but when he had realized she was pregnant and that he may have been responsible for her death or the death of her baby, something inside him had completely shifted. It was like opening your eyes and finally realizing you were standing on the edge of a cliff and that if you kept moving in the direction you were, you were going to die. His life up until then had been just focused on him and his family and coming out on top and while that had sometimes backfired, the philosophy had served him just fine. But here he was, actually caring about what happened to someone else outside his immediate circle.

It scared the shit out of him.

Author's note: Hey y'all. I know that people have a tendency to sometimes read through the story and "favorite" it or "story alert" it and while I DO incredibly stupendously absolutely appreciate it, I ask that you also leave a review—what did you like? Do you like where it's going? You don't like where it's going? You think it should go in this direction? etc. Believe me, I do take it into account.

This is my little rant but since you're reading it, you're at my mercy.

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