Categories > Books > Harry Potter > We're In This Together

Disappointment, Death, and Guilt

by zugrian 0 reviews

Luna is amusing, Neville is disappointing, Draco attacks, Dumbledore is naive, Harry is weary, and Pansy is protective.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Dobby,Harry,Pansy - Warnings: [!!!] [V] - Published: 2018-10-26 - 7737 words

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. On with the show.


Harry had to consider himself lucky as he finished cleaning McGonagall's classroom. She had gotten to him first after he had called Ron an arse and wanker in front of most of the school, and detention would have been a lot worse if Snape had been a bit faster down the aisle. The petty bastard's eyes had lit up at the chance to fuck with Harry for the first time in months.

Besides, he could cast Scourgify in his sleep by now.

Harry could have asked Dobby to help, but he had a feeling McGonagall would have caught him, and really, it hadn't taken that long anyway.

The punishment would prove to be worth it if Ron could ever get over his pride, but Harry was starting to worry if that would happen by the time they finished Hogwarts. It was now a month and a half since he had spoken to Hermione. Not even getting a Troll on his last Transfiguration essay had been enough to make him change his ways.

Oh well. At least Luna was fun.

The first time he had read The Quibbler was interesting. The articles were bizarre, but they had a runic puzzle in the back that was pretty fun for him to work through, even though he quickly realized it had to be read upside down. Bonus points too for the look on Hermione's face as she watched Harry reading it. He had a feeling she'd looked through it and dismissed it as nonsense, and her eye twitch all that afternoon made Harry smile.

He was going to get Hermione to lighten up one of these days or die trying.

Even Neville trying to talk to her wasn't getting through to her, although Harry thought that he still needed some work if what he had seen was the best attempt at flirting Neville could manage.

The good news resulting from the fallout of Harry's tirade against Ron was that Pansy had thoroughly rewarded him for shouting down his potentially former friend. It was a lot easier to not worry about that when Pansy was shagging his brains out. Her sex drive might have even eclipsed his own, or at least it seemed that way for the next few days.

Harry was really enjoying going to bed and waking up in the most satisfying of ways.


Luna had taken to joining Harry and Pansy for meals more often than not, at least when they went to the Great Hall to eat. One evening she asked Harry about dining away from the crowd, which led to him showing her the kitchens and introducing her to the Hogwarts house-elves.

"Hello miss Luna."

"Hello again Oggy. Thank you for helping Harry and I that night."

"Miss Luna is most welcome."

It looked like Luna had made a third new friend, and the eagerness of the rest of the elves to please their guests made Harry think that she would probably come back to visit them more than a normal student would. Although, most students wouldn't even give house-elves a second thought. Harry smiled as he watched her interacting with them, asking questions about what all they did at the school, not to mention a couple of more strange queries. He supposed it was possible that they reported not only to Dumbledore but also a shadow council of house-elf leaders who oversaw assassinations against those who were obsessively cleanly. He couldn't argue that such people would be bad for business.

"Luna, if the house-elves were doing that, wouldn't we have noticed dead students?"

"Oh, no Harry. They watch over the students to see who might cause problems once they grow up. Did you know that Sirius Black's father only lived to be fifty? His mother died just before turning sixty. Wizards and witches can live decades longer than muggles. Daddy told me a story that a friend of his had visited their house twenty years ago and it was the cleanest home he had ever been in."

"So obviously, the house-elves must have taken care of them. It does have a certain logic." Harry knew that Pansy was rolling her eyes without even looking at her, but he thought that she found the strange blonde girl amusing in a way too. Especially when she got under Hermione's skin.

The house-elves did look a little shifty, now that he thought about it.


"Hey, Harry. Can I talk to you in private for a minute?"

It was after a Charms class that Neville approached him. Harry had seen him sitting with Hermione that day, which had become the usual over the last couple of weeks.

"Sure, Neville."

"I'll tell Luna you'll be a bit late for lunch," Pansy said with a smirk.

"Thanks, Pansy. Do me a favor too. Try to get her to eat something other than pudding. Please?"

"I doubt she'll listen to me, but I will."

Harry was legitimately worried about the girl ever since the day before when she told him of her all pudding diet. He might have to ask Dobby to try to get the other elves to do whatever they could to get extra vitamins and nutrition into pudding, because Luna seemed sincere in her stated goal of eating nothing else for the rest of the month.

"Thanks." He watched her go down the hall, and the sway of her hips made Harry want to re-enact last night as soon as possible. Harry wasn't really into spanking, but when naughty student Pansy needed to be punished, dirty professor Harry was up to the job.

He shook those thoughts away and found an empty room.

"So, what's up?"

"Well, you know how the girls were... uh, trying to help me?"

"You mean so you could work up the nerve to ask Hermione out?"

"Yeah... I mean... you knew about that?"

"Neville, I sort of suggested it."


"Sure. I was paying attention last fall when you asked me what I was doing to Hermione when she was so worn out after I started teaching her the Patronus charm. I could tell you fancied her."


"And the more this year has gone on, the more Hermione has needed someone to help her relax. In particular, ever since Ron has been treating her so terribly. I've done what I can for her. But I don't like her that way. You do, and you're a nice guy so I wouldn't be worried about you trying to hurt her. Because if you did, I'd beat the hell out of you, and neither of us wants that."

"No. I mean, I wouldn't treat her badly. But, well..."

Something was clearly bothering him, but Harry was too hungry to just wait for Neville to spit it out.

"Just what is it Neville? You can tell me."

"I don't think I can do it."

"What do you mean?"

"I don't think I can go out with Hermione."

"Why not?"

"She's just..." he sighed and looked down, averting Harry's gaze. "Hermione is nice, and friendly, and pretty, and I do like her. But she's so intense. I want to do well on my assignments, but she wants to get everything perfect. Everything. In every class, on every essay. It's hard to get her to talk about anything other than school work."


Shit. This was disappointing.

"I take it you haven't asked her out yet then?"

"No. I was trying to work up the nerve to see if she would go the next Hogsmeade weekend with me, but...

"This last week, she's just been so hard at work, night after night. I can't handle the stress. She's in three more classes than I am. I don't know how she hasn't cracked under the pressure yet."

"I get it," Harry groaned. "Just do me a favor, alright. Don't let this get awkward. Don't stop being her friend or avoid her in class. She can use every friend she can get- I know the thing with Ron has really upset her. I bet your grades have been a lot better with her help anyway."

"They have. I appreciate all her help, honestly. I just don't think I'm the guy that can get through to her, to get her to relax. I don't know who is, other than you."

Harry have a wry chuckle.

"Great. Thanks for telling me, Neville. I'll just have to think of something else."

"Are you sure you don't fancy her? I mean, it's obvious you care a lot about her. It would make sense for you two to get together."

"No. Maybe in another life. There's just a couple of things about our personalities that would clash if we tried to date, I think. Besides-"

Harry had to stop himself. He couldn't say that he was dating someone else, nor would he admit that he knew part of the reason she had been so upset by Ron was that she had a little crush of her own on the prat. Damn, this was frustrating. Neville might really have been good for her.

"Well, not everything works out."

"You won't hold it against me, will you Harry?"

"No, don't worry about it. Let's go to lunch, Neville."'

Unfortunately, Harry's appetite had just taken a severe beating.

That's not to mention the ten minutes he would waste trying to talk Luna out of her 'nothing but pudding' diet.


The next night, before they got busy doing anything else, Harry decided to bring up the letter he'd received from Sam.

"Pansy, we need to talk about something."


"This," he said as he pulled the parchment out. He noted the names of the girls he'd written on the back of it, the ones who had attacked Luna. That had jogged his memory.

"You said something to me last month, about what could happen to you if something happened to me."

"I wanted you to be more careful. For both our sakes, Harry. You tend to be a lot more cavalier with your own safety than with mine."

"I know. I'm trying to get better about that. But I realized that there were things I could do to make sure you would be protected. Sam originally wrote me back on Valentine's Day. I meant to show you this then, but we got distracted, and the letter got misplaced for a time, and-"

"That was a month ago."

"I know. I'm sorry. I found it awhile ago and wanted to tell you, but it's just not the most fun of topics."

"Just get to the point, Harry."

"I made a will. I left you everything. Just in case. But I also realized that I would need to do something else; as long as you were a minor, you could still be in danger, legally speaking. I asked Sam for advice and his help because I don't really know anyone else I could trust. Maybe the Brightwells, but as squibs they wouldn't be as strong a protection as Sam could be.

"So, I asked him if he could adopt you, should something happen to me. He suggested making himself your guardian instead. That way I could name you as my heiress, and you could even legally take the name Potter."

"Harry, I don't know what to say." She hugged him, and he noticed himself shaking. Her too, actually. Talking about his own death was never going to be pleasant, but it was that much worse knowing how this could upset her. "Thank you for all this. But I don't want you dying on me."

"I don't either. My plan is to finish our time here, hopefully without too many more idiots trying to kill me, then marry you and live happily ever after."

"I like the sound of that plan," she sighed. Harry kissed the top of her head.

"Me too. I'd like to spend the next hundred years with you."

"Only a hundred?" she asked with a smirk as she pulled back to look at him.

"I don't think I want to live as long as Dumbledore. For one thing, I don't think I'd look as good with a beard. And I don't want to get too greedy. A hundred years with you would be worth more than a thousand without you."

There were tears in her eyes when she answered, "I love you, you wonderful sappy man."

"Maybe you're not the only one who's secretly a romantic."

"Then take me to bed, my Lord. I think we both could use some stress relief."

"That sounds like a wonderful plan too."


Draco Malfoy was slowly going insane.

It had been almost three months now, and it was always the same dream. Night after night, Potter with his mother. Her legs wrapped around him. His hands and mouth in all of her most secret places. Her on top of him, and the look on her face as she moaned and writhed in pleasure. Him behind her, as they rutted like animals.

And every morning he would wake with a mess in his bed and a scream on the tip of his tongue.

He couldn't take it any more.

Potter had to pay. No one did this to Draco Malfoy and got away with it.


Harry stumbled into his seat in the Great Hall at breakfast. Luna was already there waiting for him. Pansy slumped down on his other side. Last night had been emotionally exhausting. Then they had made it physically exhausting to try to clear their heads. All in all, both of them could really use a nap. Thankfully, they had History of Magic first thing this morning.

"Good morning, Harry. Good morning, Pansy. Although it looks like you could both use some more sleep. Want some pudding?"

Sure enough, Harry saw a plate full of banana pudding in front of his favorite odd little blonde girl. He yawned and tried to put some words together into a coherent thought.

"Just breakfast. No. I mean, no pudding, thanks."

"Alright, Harry. More for me then," she said with a smile so bright Harry closed his eyes. Something bumped his hand. Oh, tea.

"Thanks, Pansy." It was nice and strong, and Harry could almost start to feel alive. A couple more drinks then.

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Luna again. Happy. What did she ask?

"Oh, no, that's alright Luna. Just had some legal stuff to deal with last night."

"And it was exhausting," Pansy added with half a groan.

"Yeah, that." Another drink. Dobby was right. Caffeine did the body good. Especially on a morning like this.

Luna had the Quibbler spread out on the other side from her plate, and she was flipping through it while she ate. She did this thing where she would lick the spoon clean every few bites, and he realized he would have to warn her not to do that. Seamus was looking at her and paying way too much attention to her tongue. Dirty fucking pervert. Not being in a dorm with him any more was great. Bastard's mind permanently lived in the gutter.

Pansy was right about her. He had brought Luna in like a stray. He was more protective of her than Pansy in a way. She was in both another house and another year. It made him worry about other people picking on her. He had already sort of adopted her as a little sister, and by god, any guy coming around was going to have to be much more of a gentleman than Seamus ever could even pretend to be.

"Anything interesting in the Quibbler today?" Pansy asked, coincidentally just as Hermione sat down across from him. Harry was too tired to stop himself from giggling.

"Something funny this morning, Harry?" Hermione asked as he continued snickering.

"Just remembering something that happened awhile ago," he choked out as he wiped his eyes. That eye twitch. Poor Hermione. What the hell was he going to do to get her to calm down? It was still two and a half months away, but she was already studying for the exams. Enforced merry making? If the weather would get a bit warmer, he might even just throw her in the lake one of these afternoons.

Luna licked her spoon clean again. Harry threw Seamus the nastiest glare he could manage.

"There is an interesting theory about a secret part of the Department of Mysteries. It's said that they steal socks from muggles and use them to try to commune with the fairy realm. Only individual socks work, for it's something about the frustration of the muggles making the magic more powerful."

"That makes sense in a way." Harry nodded as Hermione scowled. He could hear the faint grumble of 'nonsense' coming from her. "But why socks specifically?"

"You mean you haven't heard of sock fairies?"

Pansy laughed as Hermione grew redder. Harry would have to do something soon; his friend was going to give herself an ulcer if he couldn't get her to mellow out.

"Obviously he hasn't Luna," Pansy replied. "Why don't you tell Harry all about it?"

"And remind me to tell you later about my theory," he added.

"What theory?"

"The Department of Terrible Ideas."

"What's that?"

"I like to believe there is a specific department in the Ministry that comes up with all their worst ideas. You know, things like sending soul-devouring monsters to hang out near school children."

"You'll have to tell me all about it. I might have to write daddy- it sounds like something he would enjoy investigating. Can I quote you on it?"

"You probably shouldn't. I wouldn't want anyone in the government to try to cause me any problems."

"Maybe you could refer to him as an 'unofficial government spokesman' instead?" Pansy offered.

"Spokesperson," Harry suggested. "Makes it unclear if the speaker is male or female."

"Even better," Pansy agreed.

"Alright, I could work with that. Now, let me tell you about the sock fairies..."


Granger was still glaring at them all throughout Potions. Harry was right about the girl needing to relax. She had no sense of humor.

The fact that Dobby had brought pillows to them so Pansy and Harry could sleep through History of Magic was really nothing to get worked up about. It's not like they were the first students to be so brazen. Binns was a complete joke.

Pansy looked around the room as she lazily stirred the concoction she was currently brewing. Harry had improved this year in the class as Snape was unable to focus his "teaching" on ruining all of Harry's work. Pansy smiled to herself. Longbottom and Weasley were always going to be terrible in the class- the fact that Snape was taking out most of his frustrations on them for the last seven months instead of Harry didn't bother her at all.

She noticed Draco across the room. He had been moody and sullen for the last couple of months. But then, seeing his father killed must have been a pretty shattering experience for the spoiled little bastard.

Pansy had been delighted when Harry had shown her his memory of her own father's death.

The score was two dead Death Eaters regardless.

Draco, though, something seemed a bit more off about him than usual. The circles around his eyes had been growing all term. Pansy hoped it was at least somewhat due to her efforts at breaking him back on New Year's.

That had been so much fun.

Now, if only she could make the ginger moron cry. It had turned her on so much when Harry had ranted at the weasel. But she wanted a turn of her own; the annoying, immature idiot owed her for months of having to experience his awful presence. If only Granger would hook up with someone.

It had been very disappointing when Harry had told her that Longbottom was too much of a wimp to try to date the bookworm. Not that she could really blame him, but it would have been so much fun if he had gone through with it.

Plus, it had been a waste of her time. Oh well, at least she would always treasure the memory of seeing him squirming when Vane nearly snogged his face off.

That girl had been surprisingly enthusiastic and assertive for a firstie.

Soon enough, the class came to an end. Pansy took her own and Harry's samples up to the front of the class. Snape gave her a sneer as she set them down. Harry had already gathered all of their things, and they were two of the first to get out of the classroom.

As they made their way down the hall, a commotion behind them made her start to turn.


Harry had grabbed her and her body began to twist as he wrapped his arms around her. She felt a splash of blood on her- the back of Harry's left arm had shielded her from the cutting curse.

But the voice that cried out in pain came from back down the hall.

Harry stood in front of her and raised his left hand.

Pansy looked over his shoulder and saw Draco clutching his own left arm that was bleeding. Other students had spread out as far as they could, and Parvati and Lavender, the two who had been between Malfoy and Harry, moved quickly further down the hall. A din of voices was heard in the distance as more people were on the way.

Draco had an angry scowl as he raised his wand and pointed it at Harry.

"I'll kill you, scarhead!"

Harry held his left hand out as if to stop any spell coming their way. Pansy saw a faint blue glow coming from the sapphire on the Potter family ring.

"How dare you, Malfoy," he said in an icy voice.

"You killed my father. This is revenge.


Pansy tried to draw her wand to cast a Shield spell, but she wasn't fast enough. However, just as she expected the spell's impact, she saw a flash of light as Harry's ring flared and somehow seemed to absorb the magic.

"You are a fool, Draco Malfoy."

Other voices were getting louder, and Pansy saw Snape trying to make his way through the crowd behind Malfoy. The air around them was crackling with ambient magic; she felt goose bumps all over her body, and a shiver went down her spine as she looked at Harry. The stone on Harry's ring was now bathing the entire hallway in an eerie blue glow.

"Lower your wand and never even think of raising it against House Potter again, or you will suffer the consequences."

"You think you scare me, Potter?


But before he could even begin to utter the second word of the killing curse, Draco Malfoy's face froze in shock. His body fell to the ground as if it were a puppet whose strings had been cut.

A hush fell over the crowd now gathered in the hallway.

A man clad in the robes of an auror stepped past Pansy towards Draco as Snape pushed forwards from the other end of the hall. The two men met and crouched down over Draco's body.

"He's dead," the auror said.

Snape's black eyes immediately went to Harry. The glow from the ring began to diminish.


"Don't try to blame this on him, Snape. You saw what happened just as surely as I did. Malfoy should never have tried to attack Potter, and the fact that a student would try to use an Unforgiveable makes me wonder about the state of things at Hogwarts.

"Alright, everyone, clear out," the auror said, and the students began to flee as quickly as they could. "Savage, send a message to Bones and Scrimgeour. We've got another death."

"What happened?" Pansy turned and was not surprised to see Granger standing nearby.

"This is why you don't betray life debts, young lady," the auror said. "You especially don't try to kill someone to whom you owe one."

Pansy saw Snape hurry to get up and race back towards his classroom.

"Lord Potter, I'm auror Joe Richmond. I'm going to need an official statement from you."


"Did you use your wand in any way against Mr. Malfoy today?"


"Have you had any conflicts with Mr. Malfoy recently?"

"No. Ever since his father challenged me to a duel, he has been avoiding me."

"Avoiding you how?"

"In the past, he would often verbally try to bother me. Taunts, insults, and the like. Rarely has a week gone by since I started Hogwarts that I haven't heard something of that sort from him. But after his father failed to kill me in the duel, the worst I've gotten from him has been angry looks."

"And have you tried to engage him on your own?"

"No. It's not a secret that I struck up an acquaintance with his mother last year. She was hoping to have more influence over her son with Lucius Malfoy in prison. I assumed she would be working even harder since his death, and I had no inclination to interfere with Lady Malfoy's efforts."

"I see. Were you aware that Mr. Malfoy owed you a life debt?"

"I assumed that he did due to the dementor attack at the quidditch match last fall."

"But you were not certain?"

"I knew one of my quidditch teammates owed me one. I was not certain that Mr. Malfoy owed me one, but I found it likely that most, if not all, of the people at that match do as well."

"You may be right about that. We will probably need to make certain of that soon. Were you aware of what could happen to someone who betrayed a life debt?"

"Yes. I tried to warn Draco to cease his attack for that reason."

"I heard that as well, Lord Potter. I believe that is all, but Madam Bones may want to speak to you later. You may go for now."

"Thank you, auror Richmond."

Pansy followed as Harry turned to leave. Granger was following them looking stunned.

"I can't believe it," she muttered.

"What can't you believe, Hermione?"

"Draco tried to kill you. Then he just... just died."

"You're surprised that Draco tried to kill someone. Really? This is the same Draco Malfoy that was happily crowing about your upcoming death last year when the Chamber of Secrets was opened."

"Granger, you really need to open your eyes," Pansy interjected. "His father was a Death Eater, and he was happily raising his little bastard of a son to become a murderer just like dear old dad. That's the world we live in."

"Is that how your father raised you?"

Pansy gasped and Harry immediately spun about, with a look of absolute fury on his face.

"Don't you ever, ever compare Pansy to her father."

Harry pushed into Granger's personal space and the stupid little bookworm looked thoroughly cowed.

'That fucking bitch.' Pansy was ready to slap her.

"I...I'm sorry. That was thoughtless of me. Please forgive me, Pansy."

Pansy didn't respond, she merely turned and strode quickly away. Harry rushed to catch up with her, leaving Granger dazed and upset in their wake.


They didn't go to lunch that day. Pansy sat in Harry's lap on their couch. Neither of them spoke for several minutes.

Dobby brought them a message that Madam Bones was on her way to ask Harry a few questions, so he got up and asked Dobby to make them something light to eat. Pansy stayed behind while Harry went out into the Gryffindor common room.

Once she was alone, Pansy let out a vicious grin.

One more Malfoy down.


There were black banners hanging in the Great Hall that evening at dinner.

Classes had been canceled that afternoon. Now, Albus Dumbledore stepped to the front of the teacher's table at the head of the room.

"A terrible loss happened today. A young man lost his life. I fear that some of the blame for this tragedy must rest with me.

"Some of you may have heard of life debts before. Many of you have not. When a witch or wizard saves another's life, magic may form a bond between them.

"Mr. Potter, would you please come to the front of the room?"

Harry stood and walked up to where the headmaster waited for him. The older wizard drew his wand and cast a spell that soon showed lines of magic stretching out from Harry to nearly every other person in the room.

"This fall, Mr. Potter saved many lives when his Patronus defended you from the dementors. As you can now see, because of this, you owe him life debts.

"Now, this does not mean that you must repay Harry by saving his life. But I must stress this warning- attempting to harm someone that you owe your life to can have terrible consequences. Sadly, Mr, Malfoy did not learn this until it was too late. I pray that all of you will take heed of this fact.

"Thank you, Mr. Potter. You may return to your seat."

The room stayed quiet as Harry walked back down the aisle and sat down by Pansy. Hermione was sitting several seats away, and Pansy noted with some satisfaction that she looked as if she had been crying that afternoon.

"A moment of silence please, as we remember Draco Malfoy. A young man whose promise will never be fulfilled. I pray we will have no other such loss."

The silence played out, and Pansy looked at Harry. She was holding his hand under the table.

"Thank you," Dumbledore finished as he walked back to his seat. The food appeared, and people began to eat, but the mood was darkened by the day's events. Even Weasley wasn't stupid enough to be openly happy about Draco's death.

Of course, the reality of the situation could just be sinking in as well. A student had died after trying to attack another student.

Pansy looked across the room at the Ravenclaw table, where Luna was sitting alone. She was eating pudding again, and Pansy had to suppress a smile at that. The other girls in her year, the ones she knew Harry had threatened, were looking over at him terrified. They had definitely picked the wrong year to get on his bad side.


After dinner, the headmaster had summoned Harry up to his office to discuss what happened.

"Come in, Harry. Please have a seat."

"Thank you, headmaster." He sat down across from Dumbledore and waited.

"I wanted to speak with you about today's events. Do you have any idea why Mr. Malfoy would have attacked you today?"

"You mean other than the duel with his father?"

"Other than that, yes."

"No, sir. I haven't spoken to him in months. Maybe not since last year, now that I think of it. I've seen him giving me nasty looks recently, but I assumed that was just because of the duel with his father."

"I see. It was most unfortunate that you dueled with Lucius Malfoy. Two terrible losses could have been averted. Why did you have to accept his challenge?"

"Two terrible losses? Are you telling me that Lucius Malfoy's death was a terrible loss? That monster set a basilisk loose on a school full of children. Do you seriously expect me to feel bad about his death?"

"Killing someone is always a terrible thing, Harry."

"Really? So you want me to feel bad about stopping Quirrell two years ago? Should I feel bad about killing Voldemort as a baby after he murdered my parents?"

"You are far too young to be this cynical, Harry," the old man sighed.

"I don't see how you could expect me to be anything else."

"What do you mean by that?"

"You know Hagrid, professor Dumbledore. He has a good heart, but he can't keep a secret to save his life. So, I know for a fact that you were the one who left me with the Dursleys. I will never forgive you for that."

"It was necessary, Harry. They were your only family left."

Harry ground his teeth and closed his eyes. He breathed deeply and counted to ten.

"Do you always have to lie, headmaster? I know for a fact that is not true. The Potters were a pureblood family, and all of the British pureblood families are interbred. It may not have been a close relation, but there were other options. Hell, Malfoy was something like a third cousin. So, do you want to try again?"

Now it was Dumbledore's turn to close his eyes. Harry wasn't sure if it was an act or not, but he was tired of the games.

"Sadly, it no longer matters, but your mother's sacrifice protected you. You should remember that from your confrontation with professor Quirrell. You needed to live with your aunt because she shared your mother's blood to keep that protection. Now, it is lost."

"And what was supposed to protect me from the Dursleys?"

"They were your family."

Harry just closed his eyes and turned away. He didn't think there was anything he could say that wouldn't devolve into screaming at Dumbledore.

"Do you not at least feel some guilt for killing Mr. Malfoy?"

"I didn't kill him. He did that to himself. Should I feel guilty that he tried to use the killing curse against me?"

"He was still just a boy, Harry. He had his whole life ahead of him. You cannot be so cold as to be pleased about his death."

"I feel bad for his mother. I know she was trying to undo his father's teachings. Narcissa deserved a chance to try to fix her son. To save him from the blood supremacy nonsense that people like his father used as an excuse, despite the fact that they all bowed down before a half-blood. I do feel guilt for her loss," Harry sighed.

"But that same boy also wanted to see my best friend killed last year. His father was a murderer who taught him not to value other people's lives. So, I am not surprised that he tried to kill me today. And if this stopped him from killing anyone in the future, then that is a good thing. Don't try to convince me that he was somehow innocent."

There was a moment of silence that stretched out as the two wizards, young and old, stared across the desk that separated them from each other.

"I hope that we will not have any more incidents like this."

"So do I, sir."

"Good, Harry. Please do not use the life debts as an excuse to seek out any more conflicts or cause any more trouble."

"When have I ever needed to seek out trouble? It finds me often enough as is."


Pansy was of course waiting for him, sitting on the couch when Harry returned from Dumbledore's office.

"So, what did he want?"

"Oh, the usual. Tried to give me a guilt trip about killing Draco and complained about how cynical I am."

Pansy snorted.

"What's that you've got?" Harry asked, nodding to the parchment Pansy was reading as he sat down next to her.

"It seems that you've had Dobby forward some mail for me."

"Ah, it's that letter."

"Yes. Why did you want me to read this?"

"She was your mother, Pansy."

"So what."

"So, her cousins have held off on holding the funeral so you could attend. I think getting some closure would help you. I know you've said that her death didn't bother you. You went to my parents' graves with me; I feel like I should return the favor."

"Next you'll be telling me you think I should go to my father's as well."

"I do."

"What?" she snarled.

"Only after you and I both drink about a gallon of water so we'll be able to piss on his grave," Harry answered with a tentative smile.

Pansy's expression reversed and she kissed him.

"I knew there was a reason I love you," she said with a grin.

"I do aim to please."

Pansy relaxed as she cuddled into his side. The fireplace was lit; it had been a warm day, but even with spring officially arriving, the nights could still get pretty chilly in the castle.

"You really think we should go?"

"I do," he replied. "But it will be your decision. I will support you either way."

"I guess I did suggest teaching you French last summer." Harry looked down at her smirking face.

"I found out there are some magical short cuts to that. I don't know if a charm or potion would be easier, but it would be a good idea if I understood what was going on."

"And it could be an excuse for us to take a vacation. We could see Paris."

"Whatever you want, my love."

"You might regret saying that some day, Harry."

"Maybe, but I'll take my chances."

"Okay. Then we'll write back to them tomorrow. I'm ready for bed."


They had snuggled in for the night, but almost an hour later, Pansy felt Harry roll over and sigh.

"Can't sleep?" she asked as she turned to face him.

"No. Sorry if I woke you."

"What's wrong, Harry?"

"It's... hard to explain."

"Try me."

She heard him take a couple of breaths as he looked for the words to begin.

"A part of me is glad Draco is dead. He was such a bastard and I can easily see a future in which he would have followed in his father's footsteps. But at the same time...

"Did you see Narcissa today?"


"I only saw her from a distance, down a hall. She must have come to... well, to collect his body I guess. And his things I suppose. And I feel terrible for her. Her son may have been an evil little shite, but he was still her son."

"You still care about her."

Harry didn't look at Pansy. In the darkness, it was easier to ignore her scowl. They both knew that Narcissa was a sore spot between them.

"My mother died right in front of me, Pansy.

"I never told you this, but when the dementors were around me last fall, I got these visions of a sort. Memories really, I guess. They were just flashes, images. I was too young to fully understand what was going on. But I saw this curtain of red hair. My mother's hair, in front of me. Then a flash of green light and this strange voice and the red hair falling away. I don't remember what happened to Voldemort, and I don't remember getting the scar. But I do remember seeing her hair spread out on the floor. Her body just lying there. There was so much red. Part of it might have been blood running down from my scar.

"I think I might have called out for her. I'm not positive. I was fifteen months old; I'm sure I could have managed a mama or something by then. I remember trying to get to her. I was too small to climb out of the crib or bed or whatever it was I must have been in. But I tried.

"I think it's good in a way that I didn't remember that before. That would have been a pretty terrible nightmare to have when I was younger.

"Anyway, that's the only memory I have of either of my parents."

"I don't understand. What does that have to do with Narcissa?"

"Some day, I'd like to think we'll have children. Not for awhile, obviously; we're way too young. But someday.

"Can you picture it? Our baby in your arms. I can see it so clearly."

Pansy could make out the smile on his face, even in the shadows of the bedroom.

"And because I can see that, I can just as easily picture Narcissa when Draco was born."

"Harry, you don't have to look at it like that. Even the Dark Lord had a mother. Do you feel bad for her just because her son grew up to be a monster?"

"No. But I never knew her mother.

"You're right. I do still care about Narcissa. And I'm sorry, because I know that must make you angry. Her husband was evil, and her son was growing to be just like his father. I pity her even more because of that. Can you imagine how awful it must feel? To fail your child, to not raise him right?

"I swear to you, Pansy- I will do everything I can to be the best father possible some day. I...

"I think a part of me might always want to prove the Dursleys wrong." Harry let out a sigh. "But if that makes me a better man... I guess I won't complain too much."

"Harry, you're already the best man I know." She sat up and kissed his forehead, then ran her fingers through his hair. She knew that always soothed him. "Relax, my love."

Pansy could feel his tension. Even now, Harry still surprised her. He seemed so strong, so confident most of the time. But she understood a bit better. He hadn't told her of what the dementors made him feel.

She had seen his vulnerability once, when he had shared his childhood with her. And afterwards, for days, it had driven a wedge between them as Harry was uncomfortable with being that open. She wasn't doing enough for him if he was still this closed off from her. Not that she hadn't done some of the same thing when she learned of her mother's death. Harry was right, going to her funeral would be good for her, and she would do her best to let him in. To let him help her.

He needed the same thing now.

She could feel everything he described of his mother's death. He was letting her see this pain that was buried so deep that he barely remembered it. Somehow, it tore loose a memory of her own. A song. Her mother singing. She must have been so young.

And before she realized she was doing it, Pansy began to sing.

"À la claire fontaine m'en allant promener,

J'ai trouvé l'eau si belle, que je m'y suis baignée.

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime jamais je ne t'oublierai.

Sous les feuilles d'un chêne je me suis fait sécher,

Sur la plus haute branche, un rossignol chantait.

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime jamais je ne t'oublierai.

Chante, rossignol, chante, toi qui as le coeur gai,

Tu as le coeur a rire, moi, je l'ai à pleurer.

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime jamais je ne t'oublierai.

J'ai perdu mon ami sans l'avoir mérité,

Pour un bouton de rose que je lui refusai…

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime Jamais je ne t'oublierai.

Je voudrais que la rose fût encore au rosier,

Et que mon doux ami fût encore à m'aimer.

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime jamais je ne t'oublierai. "

He was asleep by the time she finished the song. She wasn't sure why she was crying.


She awoke some time later in the night. She hadn't meant to fall asleep, but thankfully, she was in an odd position, half sitting with Harry's head laying on her chest. She had dreamt of her mother for the first time in weeks. She wished she could know for sure if her memories of her mother smiling at her were real or only something she had so longed for that her mind had created them in some form of self consolation.

Maybe, it had just been so long, and she had been so young, that the memories were buried under a decade of pain and weariness.

She slowly extricated herself from Harry's sleeping form and made sure not to wake him as she left the bedroom.

Pansy went into the other bedroom and dug through her trunk to find the list she had hidden under a pile of clothes that would not come out till the weather improved.

"Dobby?" She spoke in a quiet voice, but the elf appeared in a flash anyway.

"Miss Pansy?"

"Sorry it's so late. I didn't mean to fall asleep. Here's the list of what I'll need. Are you sure you can get it all?"

"Dobby can, miss Pansy."

"Even the first thing?"

"It will be no problem for Dobby."

"You have to make sure it's human, Dobby. It won't work otherwise."

"Dobby already knows of miss Pansy's list, and Dobby already found it for miss Pansy."

The elf snapped his fingers and a bone appeared in his hand.

"You're the best Dobby. We'll wait till Easter. I'll need your help. Let's make sure not to let Harry find out. Not till we're done."

"Master Harry would help too, miss Pansy."

"No, Dobby. You have done a lot to take care of us. Harry has done everything and more that I've needed him to do for me. I need to do this for him. Harry is mine. And no one is allowed to get away with hurting him. No one."


A la clair fontaine (By the clear fountain)


As I was walking by the clear fountain,

I found the water so lovely I had to bathe.

I've loved you for so long, I will never forget you

Under the oak's leaves, I lay and dried.

On the highest bough, a nightingale sang.

I've loved you for so long, I will never forget you

Sing, nightingale, sing, you of the joyous heart.

Your heart is made for laughing... mine can only cry.

I've loved you for so long, I will never forget you

I lost my love without deserving it,

Because of a rosebud I kept from him...

I've loved you for so long, I will never forget you

I wish the rose were still on the bush,

And my sweetheart loved me still.

I've loved you for so long, I will never forget you
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