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Summary:  After the war, the survivors try to find a way to cope with the losses they have incurred and move into a future they have yet to create. As they try to find ways to save themselves, they realize that perhaps the best way is to save each other. 
 
This story will eventually be Harry Draco Slash. It will probably take a while to get there from here.  This chapter is rated about the same as Book 7.

Notes:
This was a challenging chapter for me to write.   For the past two years, Lucius has been either in Azkaban, or esentially under house arrest with Voldemort using Malfoy manor and punishing Lucius and Narcissa for Draco's failures.   I am not sure I am completely up to the challenge of writing a PTSD Lucius (and to a lesser extent, Narcissa).  Please let me know if I have succeeded.   

This is the last chapter that overlaps at all with Book 7 (It overlaps with the last non-epilog chapter.  After this, we'll get some sections from Harry's POV as well (before this, all we needed was to read the books!)

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ivyingarden for all the help making this a better fic!  She patiently helps me brainstorm (with some great ideas to throw into the cauldron), is fabulous with canon, has a knack for language, and keeps at me to "write write write".


Disclaimer: Harry Potter, his friends, his enemies, and the lovely world they live in all belong to JK Rowling. The first chapter or two has some direct quotes from Chapters 31 through 36 of book seven peppered throughout, as it is Draco’s point of view of events we have already seen from Harry’s. After the final battle, we’ll be branching off.


Enjoy!

Chapter 5: A Malfoy Reunion - Draco

Aftermath – Malfoys 
Draco felt lost. His godfather could be dying, but that was out of his hands. It seemed as if one of the pillars of his life had just been pulled away. Snape had been steady when his father was not. He had pushed, supported and protected Draco. Snape was driven, and drove others. He was cold to almost everyone, but Draco had seen both fire and affection in the man’s eyes. 
 
Exhaustion washed over Draco as he stared at the closed door. There was a battle being fought, he could hear bits of it. He felt no desire to fight in it, not for either side, even if he hadn’t been wandless. 
 
A slight prick of obligation made his stomach clench. His parents were wandless too, and it was – at least partially – because of him. He was the one that took, and then lost, his mother’s wand.
 
He felt the sudden need to find his parents. They would be here, Voldemort would not have left anyone behind. Everyone had been needed, to fight in the battle, and to witness the Dark Lord’s victory. The students who had received the Mark had received last minute alerts by a pre-arranged code, telling them to be ready to take part in the battle.
 
He probably should avoid being caught. But without a wand, he could see no way to do both: to find his parents and to stay safe. He thought briefly about finding some of his Slytherin cohorts for safety in numbers, but the memory of the Death Eater’s words earlier made his position clear. He was not protected. Neither side valued Draco Malfoy. That was going to be their mistake, he promised himself.
 
He had no wand. However, he was a Malfoy. He would not cringe. 
  
He squared his shoulders, pulled his head up, and. looking straight ahead, and walked away from his godfather’s suite, not seeing where he was going except to avoid obstacles.   He did not look anyone in the face. At first there were few people, but once he left the dungeons, the halls became more crowded. He paid no attention to the startled gazes, the nervous wands following his movement. He just kept walking. When he climbed the stairs to the main floor, he heard cheering.   His godfather might be dying, despite all Draco had done to heal him, and there was cheering. There was a quality to the cheers that told him that it was not Death Eaters cheering. He supposed Voldemort had been defeated. Draco was too numb to feel anything at the thought. Potter had probably killed him. Again. Potter would probably be cheering with the rest of them. Was probably being cheered by the rest of them. Potter had won. And by this, Draco knew he had lost.
 
Draco suddenly turned toward the tumult. If they were cheering, that means they were rounding up Death Eaters, those they had not killed, those that had not escaped. Draco did not want to escape just then. He needed to find his parents. Let there be something left of my life.
 
***
 
As he got closer to the Great Hall, from which jubilant noise could be heard from several corridors away, Draco found it harder to avoid obstacles, in this case, people. He kept his walk a determined stride, different than his usually lazy amble. He was going into the heart of enemy territory.
 
He was not sure what he expected. The jubilation, yes. The crowds of people, students he knew, Aurors in their distinctive robes, other adults he knew from his father ranting about them. A whole mess of Weasleys. They were all pounding each other on the back, hugging each other, clustering around a dark haired person Draco would recognize in his sleep. They were touching the bloody Boy Who Lived as if he were a fucking god, as if his mere touch was equivalent to spells of protection and abundance, all rolled into one.
 
A small group were unceremoniously carrying a body off through a doorway Draco had seen the teachers come through for meals. Voldemort was dead. Severus was alive (he hoped), and Voldemort was dead. Draco recognised the pasty, green-tinted skin, and wondered how that creature had managed to sway people of value, people like his father. And at the thought, he saw them. His parents. They sat at one of the house tables, which had been shoved toward one end of the room, their heads bent, holding each other’s hands. His mother’s left eye had been blackened, bruises stretched from her eye, down her cheek, to meet up with one spanning her neck and disappearing beneath her robes. His father, normally so elegant, had scratches and cuts that had not been healed across his face had hands. They both looked somehow broken. 
 
A wash of hatred and fury flowed through Draco, burning his skin as hot as the Fiendfyre had. No one had the right to make his parents look like that. And the worst part was, it wasn’t Potter’s group that had brought them low. His parents were being ignored in all the elation that surrounded them. It had been Voldemort. 
 
He remembered his shock over midwinter and spring holidays, at the way his parents behaved around Voldemort. His father, once he had finally been broken out of Azkaban, cringed and bowed before him, kissing the hem of Dark Lord’s robes. His mother just bowed her head and did as the Dark Lord asked, acting the hostess for the Death Eaters who came to give reports and receive instructions. Draco knew they were being punished for his failures. Every Cruciatus inflicted on his father, Draco felt. Voldemort had used his parents as hostel keepers, taking the manor as his own. And his parents had let him. And each injury, each curse, each degradation had made Draco that much more desperate to regain the Dark Lord’s good side. Until Draco had found Snape. Seeing his parents broken like this, seeing Snape attacked by the very Master he followed, it all became clear to Draco. Voldemort had no good side. Voldemort used people, and cared for no cause but his own.
 
Voldemort had used them up and spat them out. And his parents had let him do it
 
As Draco made his way with accelerating footsteps toward them, he found himself convinced of one thing. He would never again let another choose his way for him. He would never give his will over to another.

 
He stood in front of his parents, close enough to touch them, not saying anything. It somehow did not matter if anyone saw him. No one was paying attention anyway. 
 
After a moment, his mother, then his father, looked up. Their eyes widened, and he was grabbed, pulled toward them, pulled to sit with them, in a gesture he would never have expected. The hands that grabbed him, the arms that hugged him, they were his father’s.
 

 
 
Reunion – Malfoys
 
Draco saw the approaching group first. The crowds had started to disperse, Potter had disappeared.  No other Slytherins were in the hall. No Death Eaters were here, except for the three of them. Draco guessed it was their turn. Three people in Auror’s robes approached, a tall bald, man with rich, dark skin, a shorter man with sandy hair, and a smaller, round faced woman. 
 
He touched his father’s shoulder. Lucius looked up, straightened his shoulders, and stood up. His mother remained seated, her posture becoming erect as if she were lifted by wires, lifting her face, uncaring that she revealed the darkly mottled bruising to the light. Draco felt a fierce glow of pride, as his father and mother gazed with cool dispassion at the oncoming Aurors. This was what it meant to be a Malfoy.
 
“Mr Malfoy, Mrs Malfoy, Mr Malfoy,” the Auror in front said, nodding to each of them in turn. The two Aurors behind him had their wands at the ready, but not pointed directly at the Malfoys. Shacklebolt also had his wand out, but at rest. Draco did not fool himself that the man would be incapable of bringing it to bear at the least provocation.
 
“Shacklebolt.” His father said the word with absolute calm. His voice was empty, and Draco heard something that he had never heard before. Underneath the calm, his father had given up. But the façade still held. Habits of a lifetime gave his father the patterns of “how to deal with members of the government.” An outsider would not have noticed. But Draco did.
 
“I will need your wands.” Shacklebolt gestured, and one of the other Aurors, a younger woman with short brown hair and a round face. She looked like she’d have been more suited to running a florist shop, or teaching children too young for Hogwarts. Her face was steady, however, as was her hand as she held it out in calm expectation. Shacklebolt looked pointedly at his father’s walking stick. Of course the wand was registered, it was not a secret wand. It was a trademark, part of his father’s presence.
 
Lucius Malfoy nodded and offered his dragon-headed walking stick as if offering food to a guest, as if it were a point of courtesy. 
 
Shacklebolt tipped the serpent’s head of the walking stick, and looked inside. “Your wand is not here, Mr Malfoy. I’m afraid I must insist—”
 
“The Dark Lord took it for his own use, some time ago. He saw no… need for me to have it.” Lucius’ voice was quiet, seemingly devoid of emotion. But Draco heard the thrum underneath. His father was in there, not just in the calm of the voice, and the pride that made him stand tall, but in the fury that Draco knew to listen for. Deep, but still there. Draco could hope.
 
“And your wife’s? And young Mr Malfoy’s?”
 
Draco kept the scowl from his face with great effort. Young Mr Malfoy indeed.
 
“My wife does not have hers on her at the moment. I believe my son—“
 
“It is gone. Most likely burnt.” Draco looked at his mother as he said it, and because he was looking for it he saw the momentary pull on her features, as she took that in. Draco knew how it felt to lose a wand. To have his own wand not only taken, but destroyed, would have devastated him. Potter still had Draco’s, was using it. There was a chance, a remote chance, that Draco could get it back. His mother’s face became impassive after that slight twitch. 
 
“And what happened to your wand, Mr Malfoy?” Shacklebolt spoke directly to him for the first time.
 
“Potter took it. That’s when my mother lent me hers.”
 
“Well then. My apologies, but I must verify that you do not have wands in your possession.” Draco’s father’s eyes glittered like ice, and his mother went still. “By your leave…” Draco moved away from the table, keeping his eyes on the Aurors and his parents. His mother rose with quiet grace, and joined her husband. Shacklebolt pointed his wand to each of them in turn, and spoke a charm. Nothing happened.
 
“Thank you for your cooperation. I’m sure you understand, we cannot leave you to move freely around the school. As you did not actively fight against us today,” the emphasis in the man’s voice on the last word indicated his certainty that none of them were innocent, “we have arranged for you to be detained without extreme discomfort. If you would follow me.” Shacklebolt turned on his heel and walked away, the two other Aurors gestured with their wands for the three Malfoys to follow the black Auror.
 
They would have time. At least they were not being separated. They were being treated respectfully, which Draco did not expect. 
 
The room to which they were lead was a classroom, but one that had had the windows charmed away, and the door warded to prevent entrance or exit without knowledge of the password. Several of the desks were transfigured into comfortable chairs, and one table had some water and bread. Prison fare, perhaps, but it looked fresh.
 
 
Draco felt the wards engage as the door closed. There was a sense of being enclosed, as if the airflow had ceased. Draco repressed the momentary claustrophobia.
 
Lucius Malfoy turned to his son. “What can you tell me?” Draco saw the light of his father’s eyes. He was there, he was engaged.
 
“You saw more than I did, I think. Were you here when he– when the Dark Lord was killed?”
 
“We saw it. We even heard it. Do you know why Potter was able to vanquish the Dark Lord, Draco? Do you know what you could have done if you had followed through, even once?”
 
Draco looked at his father, surprised. Ah, so it was going to be this game. Part of him was glad his father was capable of the intensity in his voice, even if it was aimed at him.   The emptiness he had seen increasingly over the school holidays had receded for a bit. Draco would gladly take the vitriol if only to have his father engaged with him again for a little while longer. His father. Strong. Angry. Malfoy.
 
“The Dark Lord had the Elder Wand in his hand, Draco. He expected to be able to use it. But do you know why it did not work? Harry Potter knew you had disarmed Dumbledore. You disarmed the old fool while he was holding the Elder Wand, did you realise that, Draco?” His father’s voice was quiet. “You could have picked up that wand, Draco. You would have been its master. But when you allowed Harry Potter to take your wand, you allowed Harry Potter to become master of the Dark Lord’s wand. You allowed Harry Potter to be master of the Elder Wand.”
 
Draco felt himself grow cold. It sounded like his father was blaming him for Voldemort’s demise. And his mother just sat there, looking at him, with that impassive face. 
 
Something twisted inside Draco. He could not bear what Voldemort had done to his parents, to Snape. The cold in the pit of his stomach suddenly burned. “I’m glad.” Draco said quietly. “If I had even a little to do with his destruction, Father, I’m glad.” He saw his father’s face pale, even further than the already white features. He saw the eyes tighten.
 
Draco continued, looking away from his father’s eyes, afraid of what he might find there, but unwilling to stop what he had to say. These thoughts had been growing on him for a while. He had refused them, fought them, avoided them. He had made unreasonable vows and promises, and ignored what he had come to understand. 
 
“He was not worth following. He was not worth having Malfoys follow him. He had no control, he acted on his emotions. What kind of purebloods are we to follow that? He tortured his followers even more than his enemies. And why? Because we let him. Because we were nearby! I saw him cast the Cruciatus curse on you, and on mother! And you accepted it, and still followed him.”
 
“Are you finished?” Lucius Malfoy’s voice was flat.
 
“For the moment. Father.”
 
Lucius approached his son. “I will overlook your… lack of respect, as well as your lack of insight. You lost sight of our long-term goals. I will overlook it, because you have expressed an excellent strategy for getting out of this. Lucius’ hand gestured to encompass the windowless, locked and warded room they found themselves in. “You will say exactly that to the Aurors, and to whoever is in charge of this school. You will say whatever you need to say to keep your place here.   We find ourselves in an unfortunate situation, but it will not last. And Draco. Do not disrespect me, or my choices, ever again.” His voice was quiet, almost dead. Draco heard the thrum. 
 
Draco could feel his father’s breath with each word, in tight, intense bursts against his cheeks. Lucius turned his back, and selected one of the tables to sit on, the wooded benches being too low to the ground for one to be able to sit on them with any dignity, and the upholstered furniture that had been transfigured from desks and chairs were not only too low, but also too …deep, to be able to regain an upright posture once one had seated oneself in them. When he had arranged himself on the table, he turned to look back at his son.
 
We came to the battle hoping to find you, and you were not there. Where were you?”
 
Draco could not tell if his father was asking after his son, or asking for information, or gathering something else to use against him. 
 
 
“I was following Potter. It was in my mind to capture him and bring him to the Dark Lord, at first. After my—your,” he nodded to his mother, “wand was burnt, I followed him for information. Some way to help the Dark Lord’s cause, to cause him to look upon the Malfoys with favour again.
 
“And how did my wand come to be burnt?” His mother’s voice was deceptively calm.
 
“Crabbe cast Fiendfyre. It got out of hand. He… he burnt in it.” 
 
Lucius closed his eyes. “I shall tell his father, if I get the opportunity.” Narcissa came to sit next to her husband, and placed a hand on his back. 
 
When Lucius opened his eyes, the spark of his personality had receded, his eyes revealing nothing, empty. 
 
*    *    *
 
Interlude – Severus Snape

Severus Snape was irritated.
 
He was not dead. 
 
That was probably the worst of it. 
 
In addition, he could not move. There was an irksome buzzing around him, but he was not sure if it was heard by his ears or in his mind. He ached, and had pains. That last was not unusual, the Dark Lord did not hesitate to use the Cruciatus Curse liberally. It was probably the only liberal thing about him. 
 
The echo of pain in his neck was not as severe as he would have expected, if he had expected to feel anything at this point. He had fulfilled his role, had informed the Potter brat what he needed to know – and here, Snape cringed to think of the brat having access to those memories. It had been necessary, it had been the only way to get the information to the boy by that point. Potter could not fail to recognise the silvery blue quicksilver liquid, he had certainly had familiarity with it from invading his privacy. But would Potter do as he was supposed to and view his Potion Master’s intimate memories? And would he do as he was supposed to and submit himself to slaughter? Snape doubted it. It was one thing to go with Gryffindorish foolhardiness into danger, where he could rely on being fawned over it later. It was clearly another thing to give himself over to an enemy to be tortured and killed, with no rescue in sight, and none to watch but other enemies.
 
How had Potter gotten there, at the critical moment? Why had Potter been there? The boy had the stupidest luck. Find the most dangerous spot, and Potter would be there. And other people would have to save him. Only this time, if Albus’ planning came to fruition, no one would be there to save his precious Golden Boy.
 
Snape did not know what to think of that. He would not have expected it. Albus used Potter as ruthlessly as he had always used Severus himself. Potter had been set up as thoroughly as Severus had. Snape felt a deep unquiet at the thought of having anything in common with James Potter’s son.
 
Snape was exhausted. He could not open his eyes. He could feel the buzzing against his skin, in his ears, in his mind. He retreated from it.
 
 
click tracking


Go on to Chapter 6
 

Date: 2008-05-18 07:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tariana.livejournal.com
I really, really think you have something very interesting here. I'd like to add you to my friendslist so I can keep up with this story... is that okay?

Date: 2008-05-18 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imuptonogood.livejournal.com
Feel free!

I'm glad you like this.

I'll be mixing up POV more now, since we are out of known territory. Harry and Draco are, after all, not the only survivors(!), although they will of course be the focus of this story (grin).

Rowling had a very limited POV through most of the series (Harry's), with occasional forays into other POVs so we could see a bit of what the Death Eaters were doing, and some early events when Harry was dropped off at the Dursleys. Because of that, we never really got to know the other characters (the ones Harry did not know well or only knew as an rival or enemy). I've always felt those characters deserved some development on their own.

So, yes, I'd be happy to be friended! And thanks for the comments.

K

Date: 2008-05-30 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tariana.livejournal.com
I hope it's still okay that I added you. :)

Date: 2008-05-30 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imuptonogood.livejournal.com
Welcome! Glad to have you in the friend list!

Currently struggling with chapter 6. Harry is giving me grief. Lots and lots of grief.

Sigh.

K

Date: 2008-05-19 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thrnbrooke.livejournal.com
I love that Severus will survive!

Date: 2008-05-31 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kamion.livejournal.com
excelent story and most original.
I had a bit of trouble with the first chapter, because necesairy it repeated so much canon, but I like it when a fanfic keeps close to the canon and starts making its own turns where the blank spots in the canon appear.
Draco instrumental to Severus saving is one of the best turns I have seen, particulairy because it was the result of a behaviour not different from his behaviour in Deathly Hallows.
This is a Draco I like and love.

I differ however a bit from how you portrait Lucius, as a father I don't think he is as cold as you made him. He may be restrained and not quite overflowing with hugs, but I think he loves his son. I also think he is a broken man since Azkaban and will never be the same, therefor quite harmless.

I hope that when you bring Harry and Draco together you don't ignore that 19 years later they both are with their wives sending of their sons to Hogwarts.
How, I can't tell, I haven't figured it out myself.

( putting you on friendslist)

Date: 2008-05-31 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imuptonogood.livejournal.com
Glad you are liking the story.

Yes, Lucius does love his son. It is a fine line I am trying to walk... a Lucius with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a year in Azkaban and a year under V's thumb, imprisoned in his own house. He is, as you put it, broken, but can still be roused to his old self with certain triggers. Draco misses the father he is so proud of, so pushes the triggers. He just does not always get the result he wants. Lucius was proud, strong, caring, driven, ruthless, and loved his family and all it stood for. (In my opinion.) But he is also now broken, and the triggers that awaken him to some of his stronger aspects do not awaken the most positive ones.

As for the marriages, this story follows canon EXCEPT the epilogue. Sorry, the Harry / Ginny and Draco / Astoria (?) marriages do not happen here. I may still steal the kids back into the story... haven't gotten that far yet. I can see some ways to bring them about, and not with MPREG.

Anyway, glad to see you here. I'd love to see your take on future chapters! (Must go write!)

K

Date: 2008-05-31 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imuptonogood.livejournal.com
Oops: edit:

and the triggers that awaken him to some of his stronger aspects do not [necessarily] awaken the most positive ones.

Date: 2008-05-31 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kamion.livejournal.com
well, thanks Merlin no MPREG.
Oh when you are stuck a bit

this is how Draco remembers being saved by Harry
(http://kamion.livejournal.com/49900.html) :-)

Love it

Date: 2008-06-12 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ahreada.livejournal.com
Severus Snape was irritated.
He was not dead.

This has got to be some of my favorite lines in any fic, it is so IC. Please update soon and often

Re: Love it

Date: 2008-06-12 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imuptonogood.livejournal.com
The next update is coming fairly soon. It is Harry POV, and he is being frustrating, so it took longer than I'd have liked.

Yes, that IS Snape, isn't it?

I am glad you are enjoying the story!


K

Date: 2009-03-02 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosskpr.livejournal.com
What a family reunion! I was surprised that Lucius was the one to embrace Draco first. I'm wondering why Narcissa is so passive now when she was the family's guiding force throughout the prior year. Are you suggesting that Lucius's assertiveness is motivated by his belief that Voldemort's demise is Draco's fault, and that he is trying to spin it to his advantage? I'm looking forward to further development of Lucius's thinking - and Narcissa's.

Then, Snape! Be careful. He could be quite the scene-stealer, eh? ;~)

I'm really glad Chapter 6 is already there, waiting for me....

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