Betrayal or Salvation?

by Lara Wilson

The attack came out of nowhere. One moment the leaders of the Order were meeting, the location a closely guarded secret, the next Death Eaters appeared out of nowhere. The wards shattered around them and they attacked, their numbers nearly twice that of the Order. Shocked that their sanctuary had been breached, they were quickly scattered. Harry went down under a blast of power that tore into his shoulder. Blood quickly soaking his shirt, he groaned and dragged himself behind a fallen easy chair. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sirius shift and leap to attack two of the hooded figures. With his good hand, Harry freed his wand and aimed it at the Death Eater attacking Hermione, sending the man flying across the room.

Hermione ran to his side, diving behind the chair as a lightening bolt crackled across the room. Harry recognized the voice behind that curse. Lucius Malfoy.

"How'd they find us?" Hermione panted, fear making her eyes huge and dark in her pale face.

"We need to survive to figure that one out." Harry peered around the chair and saw that George and Fred were taking on Malfoy. A potion vial flew through the air and smashed against the wall behind several Aurors, including Tonks. Noxious gas spilled from the glass vial and they started coughing.

"Snape," Harry growled.

"It's not harming them," Hermione whispered, hushing him. "He must not have a choice."

"Bastard."

"Come on, they need us." As Hermione aimed a curse at a Death Eater battling Arthur Weasley, a blast came out of nowhere, stunning her and sending Harry scrambling for cover. He watched as a slender figure pulled off its mask to reveal Ginny Weasley, her face twisted by evil. Her wand aimed at Fred, who, shocked at the sight of her, had stopped fighting, and before anyone could make a move, she exploded his heart in his chest.

Molly screamed. George stumbled from his twin's falling corpse, vomiting.

Remus charged in front of the converging Weasleys and sent Ginny flying with a well-aimed defense.

Horror choking him, Harry crawled from behind the chair and rose on wobbly legs to aid Remus who was now battling several Death Eaters with the aid of Ron and Tonks.

"There you are, Potter. Ready to die?" came a silky voice through the smoke.

"Malfoy," Harry hissed, raising his wand, trying desperately to ignore the agony in his other arm. He dodged the first curse, then fired back one that missed the elder Malfoy. The second curse hit Harry and he yelled, falling hard onto his wounded shoulder and feeling his ankle twist beneath him.

Sirius had returned to human form to help the stricken Weasleys escape. When he saw Harry fall, he began to transform mid-leap. A second vial hit him, and he screamed, the sound a twisted mix of canine and human. Caught between the dog and the man, he fell, frozen.

"Thank you, Severus," Lucius said, bowing his head slightly at the Death Eater who'd thrown the potion. "Now, Potter. Out you come."

Harry tried to scramble away, find better cover, but every nerve in his body burned and his vision swam. The chair went flying and Harry forced himself to his feet.

"Not planning to die on your knees?" the Death Eater sneered.

Glaring at his nemesis, Harry raised his wand with a shaky hand. "You'll never win, Malfoy. Not in the end. Not when it matters."

"But it won't matter to you, Potter, since you'll be dead."

Harry heard Ron shout his name, his voice cut off mid-yell as Death Eaters converged on him, grabbing at him. Laughing evilly Ginny joined Lucius and together they advanced on Harry's position, beginning to chant the death curse together. Harry tried to think of a defense and looked around wildly for any escape. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Draco sneaking up on him. He yelled and tried to run away, but was grabbed by his wounded shoulder and everything went black.

*****

Draco'd bided his time, waited for his opportunity, gained the trust of his fellow Death Eaters, then had seized his moment and stolen Harry Potter right out from under his father's nose. The young man shuddered as he imagined possible responses from the elder Malfoy, then shook off the images and shouldered his unconscious burden.

He'd apparated them into the countryside somewhere in the Midlands. Spying a barn in the distance, he trotted towards it until a muffled groan came from Harry.

"Let me go."

"Not yet. Be quiet."

Ignoring him, Harry struggled until Draco was forced to dump him beneath a tree. Harry was white as a sheet, blood trickling from his shoulder, his lips bruised and bitten. There was a dazed look in his eyes as he reached for his wand.

Draco got there quicker and pocketed Harry's wand. "I'm not going to hurt you." Crouching, he took a pack from his pocket, enlarged it, and removed some bandages. "I think we need to stop the bleeding before you lose too much and make this all worthless."

"Don't touch me," Harry tried to hiss, but the sound that came out was pathetic. Ignoring him, Draco tore away the ragged t-shirt and pressed a gauze pad against the wound.

Harry yelped and passed out again.

"Well, that helps."

*****

Draco looked out the cracked open door of the old barn one final time, then turned, saying, "I think we'll be safe here for a while." When he got no response, he arched an eyebrow and strode into the gloom. "Did you pass out again, Potter?" Reaching his companion's side, he dropped down to one knee and peered into the pale face that looked back at him.

Harry blinked dazed eyes up at his long-time adversary, then winced as the wound in his shoulder throbbed. Draco'd prepared a make-shift bandage, but it probably needed stitches. There was no way they could get to a healer unless they could find Poppy at one of the safe houses. Muggle medicine might have to do, and even reaching a clinic or hospital wasn't going to be easy.

Thinking about his wound and his sprained ankle briefly took Harry's mind off of the battle and his surprising savior, but the persistent question kept nagging him as Draco fussed over the bandage and handed him a bottle of water.

"Why?" finally spilled out as he took a drink.

Draco folded himself into a sitting position and sighed heavily. "Yeah, I figured you'd want to know the answer to that one." Leaning back on his hands, he smirked. "I'm not evil."

Harry ran his eyes over the black robes covering black pants and shirt and frowned deeply. "You're a Death Eater," he replied coldly.

The smirk vanished and Draco frowned as well. "Yeah, well, I wasn't given a choice in that. I was just biding my time."

"Huh?"

"You never really bothered to look past my name, did you, Potter. Have I ever shown any inclination to follow in my father's true footsteps?"

"You're a Slytherin," Harry protested.

Draco went cold and snapped in response, "And do you know how many Slytherins have fallen fighting on your side? We may not have the high and upstanding morals of the Gryffindors, but we're not all evil and we're not all willing to fight and die for the Dark Lord."

"You called Hermione a mudblood."

Draco rolled his eyes. "I was twelve! And, although I don't particularly like the idea of our power weakening through mixed blood, I don't want His evilness wiping all the mudbloods and muggles out, either. I'm not sure that's His plan anymore anyway. I think He just wants to rule the world."

"And you expect me to believe you don't want to be at Voldemort's side."

"You can believe whatever you want." The blond shrugged and pulled another bottle of water out of his pack, opening it and taking a sip. "But here I am at your side. I'd think that would be more telling."

"Unless you rescued me to take me to Voldemort yourself."

"Yeah, that's why were in a musty old barn and not at Court already."

Harry frowned again as his companion rolled his eyes some more. "That's really annoying, by the way." Draco smirked, pleased he was being annoying. "All right, so tell me why I should believe that you really want to save me."

"You're the poster child for the resistance to the Dark Lord. If you die, it all falls apart. I'm not convinced they have a chance to win even with you leading the charge, but you're their best bet."

Harry let that sink in, then a twist crossed his lips. "Our best bet."

"Huh?"

"If you've really saved me, then you've switched sides, Malfoy. I can't see Voldemort welcoming you back with open arms."

A dark look crossed the other man's face. "Believe me, I'll be perfectly happy never to see that bastard again."

Giving him a confused look, Harry shifted against the wall he leaned against and winced again.

"Stop that, you're going to start bleeding again."

"I think we're going to need to find me a doctor," Harry murmured weakly, "But first...I need to know why."

Sighing, Draco nodded. "You know the gift of divination runs in my family, right?" At Harry's confused nod, he continued, "My aunt might have been the greatest seer of the age if she hadn't wound up in prison with Black. My great-grandmother Frost was a very good one, too. My mother, as far as I know, has no ability. I got something else, though." He took another sip of water. "Lilith sees the future and the now. I see the past. Not a particularly useful gift, at least my father never thought so. He pretty much ignored it, so I've never had any formal training in its use. It's...rather unpredictable."

"I've never heard of that kind of power," Harry said as Draco fell silent for a long moment.

"It's very rare, even rarer than true divination. And it can be useful to tell if someone's lying about something or to see how events really occurred, but that takes training. All I get are flashes, and they're very random." He took another deep breath and wrapped his arms around his knees. "When I was seven, the gift made itself known, though I had no idea what was happening or even any true understanding of what I was seeing. That came many years later, and only the full truth became known to me about a year ago." He shook his head to ward off Harry's questions. "I'm getting there. This isn't easy."

"Take your time," Harry murmured, sensing that this was very important.

"I was sitting at my mother's feet, playing while she read a story to me. At some point she stopped reading, and I looked up to see such sorrow on her face, and...that's when it happened. Suddenly I was seeing her on a bed, naked, with a strange man, also naked, and...she didn't want to be there. I was a kid and had no clue what he was doing to her, but I knew she was unwilling. She was biting her lip and there were tears in her eyes. The man...he laughed." Draco swallowed hard at the memories, but forced himself to continue. "When he got off her, there was blood on her legs. He dangled an emerald necklace over her and said, 'You please me greatly with your hatred, Narcissa.' I'll never forget what he said, how he said it, and the pleasure in his voice."

Another silence fell and finally Harry asked, "Who was it?"

Draco stared bleakly at his companion. "I had no clue. When I got older, I realized this man had raped my mother, and I wondered why my father had done nothing. I know they don't love each other, but I thought he would protect her or at least avenge her. Maybe he had. I didn't know and couldn't ask. But...a year ago I was taken to the Dark Court and introduced to the Dark Lord. And I heard...that same voice, the one I'd never forgotten."

Harry's eyes widened in shock. "Voldemort? He...raped your mother?"

Nodding, Draco swallowed hard and fought back angry tears at the memories. "I confronted my mother. How could she serve this...thing that had violated her. I had to know. She just looked at me with such sadness in her eyes and told me that she'd never been given a choice. She told me that before I was even conceived the Dark Lord had requested her in His bed, and no one was going to gainsay him. Not her. Not my father."

"Draco..."

"I don't want your pity, Potter. You wanted to know why I'm not a Death Eater. That's just one reason. I hate Him. I'll help you kill Him for what He did to her. That night I confronted her I saw more, much more, things I can't talk about. He's vile and deserves a horrific death."

Silence fell and Harry dozed fitfully. When night fell and the moon rose nearly full, Draco shook him awake.

"We need to get out of here. Do you think you can apparate?"

Harry nodded, wincing at the dizziness that simple movement sent through him.

"Any idea where we can go that's safe?"

"Yeah." He looked at Draco, noting the true concern in the other man's eyes, but still grumbled, "I wish we had some veritaserum."

Draco smirked. "You're just going to have to trust me." He helped Harry stand and gave him his wand as he pulled out his own. "Okay, where to?"

Harry gave the directions, and they both disappeared.

*****

Looking around the dimly lit street of grimy houses, Draco frowned at his companion. "Are you sure this is the right place?"

Harry nodded, staggering against Draco who wrapped an arm around him to support him. "Yeah, but I wasn't thinking about how to get you in." As he spoke, an owl swooped down to Draco's shoulder. He bore a note that Draco retrieved and Harry read.

"How did Dumbledore know?" the brunette asked, confused, handing the note to his companion.

"Who cares. Let's get out of the street." Draco read the short note out loud, and together they walked up the broken path to the warded house. With a shaky hand Harry opened the door.

Lights burned in the house, and Harry wondered who was there. Who had survived. At that dismal thought, Sirius limped out of the Library and immediately pulled his wand on Draco.

"Sirius, it's okay, Draco saved my life, and Dumbledore gave him the code," Harry said quickly. "Thank god you're all right."

"I was so worried about you, Harry. No one saw you disappear." Carefully he grabbed his stepson and hugged him tightly. "You're hurt. Come on, let's get you upstairs and Poppy can tend that shoulder." As they started up the stairs, Sirius looked over his shoulder at Draco, and his eyes narrowed. "And I want to hear why a Death Eater rescued you."

End

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