beren_writes: Manga portraits of Harry and Draco (Default)
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Title: Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 43/70 - Friends and Family
Author: Beren (aka Tasha)
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is canon compliant until the end of Order of the Phoenix and then goes AU. None of the HBP or Deathly Hallows plot will be used, or the Horcruxes for that matter since this story was planned before we knew the details about those things, and hence has it's own fanon. This includes birthdays and other information that have since been revealed on Pottermore and in further productions.
Summary: The threat of open war in on the horizon. The Order and the Ministry are of one accord and both know that where Harry Potter is, Voldemort will eventually be. Preparations are being made and this time the side of the light will not be caught unawares.
Summer classes, sabotage, revelations about Draco's father, teaching and the final showdown with Voldemort all await Harry and Draco in this exciting sequel to Gold Tinted Spectacles (LJ | AO3 | Wattpad).
Author's Notes: This is the second story in the Hecatemae universe. It starts up just after the end of the first instalment and I advice reading that one first so you understand the premise. Thanks go to my sister Sophie for the beta reading.
It has taken me 12 years to finally get around to finishing this, I very much hope everyone enjoys it.
Link to other parts: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad
New chapters will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

No miraculous solution to their problem appeared to help. This had to be the most ridiculous predicament yet and after a few seconds Draco began chuckling as well. It took them a good few minutes to calm down and then a joint effort to turn them both over so they could crawl up onto the bed properly. That was enough to exhaust them both again and they remained where they ended up.

Harry was lying flat on his face on his side of the bed and Draco was half sitting, half lying on the pillows on his side when the knock sounded on the door.

"Come in," they said at the same time, but since Harry's face was buried in the covers, only Draco's voice made it to the person on the other side of the door.

Harry heard the entrance to the room open and the movement of robes, but he had no idea who had come in since, as yet, he didn't have eyes in the back of his head no matter what he told his students. He was not about to use any of his other abilities just yet either, not if he didn't have to. With a concerted effort, he pulled his arms under him and flipped onto his back. He came to rest with his head in Draco's lap just in time to see Dumbledore smile.

"Harry, Draco," the headmaster greeted and twinkled at them, "I do hope you don't mind me pulling rank to see you first."

"Hello, sir," Harry responded with a smile, falling back into old habits.

"Now, Harry," the old wizard said lightly, "I thought I had managed to convince you to call me Albus."

"He fried his brain, Albus," Draco replied before Harry could, "he can't help regressing."

The headmaster nodded, smiling some more before his face became serious. Harry recognised that look, he'd seen it enough over the years on varyingly different people.

"That was a very dangerous thing you did," Dumbledore said, fixing them each with his knowing gaze. "It could quite easily have been fatal to you both and then we would have had three dead members of the Order rather than one. Even my old and experienced mind boggles at the idea of what the pair of you set out to do."

"It wasn't just for..." Harry started to tell the headmaster his reasons, but the old wizard held up his hand.

"I know it was not just for Sirius, Harry," Dumbledore said firmly. "I am aware that you would risk your life for your godfather alone, but I know you would not have risked Draco's if that was your only reason. I do not begin to pretend to understand how either of you view the universe, but I wish you both to know that you scared a great many people, myself included."

The dutiful Gryffindor part of Harry felt incredibly guilty at that. He sensed a similar mirror in Draco, but there was quite a large section of him left that was still incredibly happy.

"That being said," the headmaster's tone changed completely as if he knew this, "I have to congratulate you both on your success. I believe at last count there were twelve of the greatest minds of our age trying to work out how you wielded such power, Harry."

"I didn't," he found himself admitting straight away, "I asked it to help; it did the rest."

The most peculiar expression appeared on Dumbledore's face, one which Harry had never seen there before, it took him several seconds to work out what it was.

[You have rendered the unflappable, Professor Albus Dumbledore, speechless,] Draco said silently as Harry came to the same conclusion. [I can hear the four horsemen approaching now.]

"Remarkable," was the word that finally passed the headmaster's lips.

"Wait until you hear his theories that magic originally joined with humans because it wanted to," Draco added.

"I was only hypothesising," Harry said and was very pleased that he managed such a complex word in his current state.

"With you, My Dear Boy," Dumbledore said, "I have come to learn that one should never ignore what you have to say, be it an offhand comment or a long thought out argument."

It was Harry's turn to be astonished; he had never expected the headmaster to ever say anything like that to him.

"I totally agree," Draco said.

[Stop it,] Harry complained, he was beginning to feel very self-conscious.

"Quite," Dumbledore said with a twinkling smile, "but I think perhaps it may be in everyone's best interests to leave such ground breaking theories for once the establishment has come to terms with your current achievement."

"No argument from me," Harry agreed.

"One mind blowing revelation at a time," Draco said and Harry could feel his soulmate's gentle amusement at the whole situation.

Harry would have been amused too, but he knew it was going to cause a whole lot more scrutiny he did not want, which rather deflated any humour.

He was beginning to feel tired again as his energy levels sagged, so he let himself relax as Draco and Dumbledore began to chat about lighter things. He put in the odd comment, but he knew if he pushed it he'd just have to wait longer to recover. No matter what anyone said, he did know how to pace himself when he had to.

"Well, gentlemen," Dumbledore finally said a while later, "there are many people who would like to see you. Poppy has declared that no more than four at a time may enter this room so I shall leave you and let the first group in. They have been waiting long enough for you to wake up, after all."

It was as the professor turned back to the door that Harry realised he had no idea how long they had been in here this time.

"How many days, Albus?" he asked quickly. "How long this time?"

Dumbledore turned back with a thoughtful expression on his face.

"Hmm," he said calmly, "let me see. Thirty six," the old wizard said slowly. "Today is the 5th of December."

[Over five weeks,] Draco's voice sounded incredulous, [we've been unconscious over five weeks.]

Harry had no answer to that.

"Sorry to have messed up the timetable for so long," he said, because it was about all he could think to say.

"Not to worry, Harry," the headmaster said, "everyone pulled together to step into the breach, and I believe most are completely sympathetic to your reasoning."

"I'm betting Professor Snape isn't," Harry replied.

"I will admit that Severus has been somewhat testy of late," Dumbledore agreed.

"Sirius hasn't been annoying him has he?"

If there was one thing that could be guaranteed it was that Sirius and Snape would never in a million years get on.

"I believe Remus has been keeping Sirius occupied," was the headmaster's response.

"Thank Merlin there is one Gryffindor with a sensible streak," Draco said. "Without Remus and Hermione I think your house might be without hope."

Harry didn't even bother to argue, he just grinned instead.

"We will have to find a way to make it up to everyone," Draco decided and Harry mentally agreed.

"I am sure that will be unnecessary," Dumbledore said, "but I am also sure you will do it anyway. I wish you a speedy recovery, Gentlemen, and I shall not keep you any longer."

"Thank you, Albus," Draco said and Harry nodded.

He was still trying to get his head around how long they had been asleep.

* * *

Harry let his thoughts rebel to their heart's content until the door opened again. The first head round the door was Ron who grinned at Harry when he waved.

"So the rumours are true, you finally deigned to join us again," his best friend said. "We were taking bets as to whether the pair of you would wake up before Christmas."

"Well, Weasley," Draco replied smoothly, "we were planning on hibernating, but what with you making so much racket there didn't seem much point in continuing."

Ron came through the door and was quickly followed by Hermione, but it was the third person who entered the room that made Harry's heart almost stop. He had been told, Draco had even shown him his memories, but when he actually laid eyes on his godfather Harry's world came to a grinding halt.

Sirius hovered just inside the door and Harry stared at him as Remus slipped through into the room behind him. Harry forgot to breathe.

[Harry love,] Draco's gentle voice broke into his frozen thoughts, [take a breath for me. Come on, in...]

Harry obeyed without question and found his lungs were aching.

[...out...]

It had to have been longer than the moment it had seemed.

"You okay, Harry?" Hermione asked in that concerned, caring way she had.

"Shock," Draco said quietly.

"Maybe I should..," Sirius began to say.

"Come in and sit down," Draco finished for him and, apparently, even hot headed Gryffindors knew when not to argue with certain Slytherins, because Sirius did just that.

It was enough of a contrast to kick-start Harry's brain for him properly.

"You're really alive," he said and tried desperately to sit up.

He wasn't a huggy person anymore, he couldn't be, but he really needed to touch his godfather. Luckily for him Sirius seemed to be on the same page and came forward immediately, dragging him up and wrapping him in a very brief, but very fierce hug. The wave of uncontrolled emotion that rolled over him from Sirius was overwhelming. His godfather was just as conflicted and grateful and confused as he was, it seemed. Perversely, that actually helped him stem the tide of the tears that had been prickling the back of his eyes.

So many emotions were fighting for dominance: joy, fear, love, anger. They all made rather a mess and absolutely no sense.

When Draco's arms repossessed him (and where Draco found the strength for that he had no idea) he was shaking, but he actually felt better.

"You okay?" he asked Sirius.

"Better than I have any right to be," Sirius replied.

Harry relaxed back against Draco because any strength he might have recuperated while Dumbledore had been in the room was gone. Everyone had to have helped, because there were pillows in place there definitely hadn't been before, but he had been too focused on Sirius to notice.

"How about you?" Sirius asked.

"Been better," Harry replied, "but getting there."

He kept feeling himself tensing on the inside as if part of him couldn't believe that Sirius was actually there and not still a ghost. It was going to take some time.

"And there we have two prime examples of the emotionally constipated modern male," Hermione commented and made Harry smile.

"So what have we missed?" Draco asked.

"Not much," Ron said at the same time Hermione said: "The Ministry are being idiots."

Three sets of eyes stared at Hermione as if she had said something terrible.

"We agreed," Sirius said in a very tight tone.

"You agreed," Hermione said, "but this is too important."

"What have they done?"

"Well first of all they tried to take Sirius back to Azkaban," Hermione said in a perfectly calm tone.

"They did what?" Harry sat up and suddenly he wasn't tired anymore.

The magic in the room shifted and he only just stopped it jumping at him.

"Hogwarts wouldn't let them," Hermione continued and cut off some of his righteous fury. "Albus says it doesn't have anything to do with him, but Sirius can't be taken off the grounds and I think Albus might have done something."

"I can leave voluntarily..." Sirius added.

"We tested it," Remus put in.

"...but, as you can imagine, I have chosen not to," Sirius finished.

"Instead the Ministry have set a date for a proper trial," Hermione explained.

"Good," Draco said and shocked Harry.

"What?" he didn't understand.

"Then we can finally put this business to bed for good and Sirius can sue the Ministry for wrongful imprisonment when we prove what idiotic morons they have been," Draco told him.

Harry hadn't thought of it like that.

"Exactly," Hermione agreed, "but we can talk about our strategy when you're feeling better. For now you've gone very pale, I think you should be lying down."

Harry would have protested, but mentioning it reminded his body he was running on only just above empty at the moment and he sagged. Ron helped him lie back down before he could fall off the bed. Guiltily he realised Draco was feeling completely wiped out as well. He had a suspicion he knew how he had managed the sitting up trick.

"So what do you have planned for next year then?" Ron said and completely changed the tone, "Last year you came out as soulmates, this year you raised the dead. We were thinking world peace and an end to hunger should about do for next Halloween."

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The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman The Haward Mysteries Vampires: The New Age The Soul Reader Series
Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake Cat's Creation by Natasha Duncan-Drake Cat's Confidence by Natasha Duncan-Drake Sacrifice of an Angel by Tasha & Sophie Duncan Stockings by Tasha and Sophie Duncan The Beginning by Natasha Duncan-Drake Advent by Natasha Duncan-Drake Forgotten Soul by Tasha D-Drake Forbidden Soul by Tasha D-Drake Fortunate Soul by Tasha D-Drake
Dark Reflections My Stand Alone Short Stories/ Novelettes/ Novellas My Anthologies
Me, Myself and I (Dark Relfections #1) by Tasha D-Drake Dreams and Reality (Dark Reflections #2) by Tasha D-Drake Face of the Dead by Tasha D-Drake Chip Off the Old Block? by Tasha D-Drake Parting the Veil by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan Out of the Frying Pan by Natasha Duncan-Drake The Trade by Natasha Duncan-Drake Myriad Imaginings by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan Half of Everything by Natasha Duncan-Drake Assassin's Blood by Natasha Duncan-Drake