Chapter 20 Harry's Mistake
Fred was getting restless. He had been laying in this stupid bed for more than a week now.
He begged and pleaded to be allowed to walk around, and finally was granted his request. Ron, George, and Ginny accompanied him. He felt his face heat up in embarrassment as he had to constantly had to lean on George for support. By the end of the day, he was exhausted and slept deeply.
Draco came and visited him often. He always did when the others weren't around, because Harry and Ron were still on a
witch-well, wizard-hunt. Fred was somewhat confused as to why he was
avoiding Ginny though.
Regardless, they had discussed what Dumbledore had talked to them about several times. Fred was worried about not telling George. He always told George everything. But Draco told him to wait, and when it was all said and done, then they would tell George after swearing him to secrecy.
Draco was worried about Snape. He never said anything directly about it, but the professor hadn't been seen since he had disapparated the day they had escaped.
Fred could also tell that Draco was worried about his mother. From what he had seen, the boy loved her more than anything. Draco had never talked about his father, who had been reported to have escaped Azkaban.
That was one of the many things that Ron and Harry had brought up.
"It's all a ploy," they said. "Lucius was You-know-who's second in command. Now, Draco has to prove himself to take his father's place, now that Lucius has fallen so far from favor." Fred wasn't sure where they had heard about the "fallen from favor" part, but he cringed when they talked about Draco having to prove himself. No matter what Fred tried to say in his defense, they both thought Draco had the rest of them fooled. Draco was a spy, and they were all stupid to trust him.
It was on the day after students had returned, when Fred was out walking with Ginny, that the dam broke.
Fred had his own clothes for once, and he was getting better at walking without help. They were currently walking toward the Great Hall-not planning to go in, of course. Fred still looked quite a sight, and he would rather not have to endure all the stares. He knew there were rumors floating around. The Slytherins seemed to be out for Draco's blood, and Dumbldore had seen fit to give Draco his own separate room for the boy's safety.
As he and Ginny were walking, he heard his name being shouted. He and Ginny turned, and Fred was almost knocked over from the force of the hug.
"You are alive!"
It took Fred a moment to recognize the Slytherin girl in front of him.
She blinked. "You actually remembered who I was!"
Fred scoffed. "Of course I did. You were the last person I talked to before it...happened, and I enjoyed remembering it." Fred swallowed, and decided to veer off to safer subjects. "I heard you helped with the grand opening of my store! It would appear you no longer need that tour."
Melody laughed, and Fred smiled. It seemed so normal, like nothing had ever happened.
And then Melody looked over Fred's shoulder.
Turning, he and Ginny both saw what she had, and Fred gasped in surprise.
"Snape?" Fred hadn't heard anything about him, so he must have just returned. But it the person in front of him that had drawn the ginger's attention. Draco stood rigidly, his face taut with an emotion that Fred could only see was part anger, despair, and shock. Snape was turned away from Fred, but he had apparently said something, and Draco nodded, and turned on his heel and walked quickly away. From the back, Fred noticed the professor's shoulders slump, and Fred felt a sickening feeling clenching tighter in his chest.
Something was very wrong.
Fred, ignoring both the girls, quickly walked up to Snape. He was determined not to leave-not until he told him what he had just told Draco.
Harry had been watching the exchange between the head of Slytherin house and Malfoy, and he had interpreted the look on the other boy's face as one of displeasure and anger.
Harry knew that Dumbledore trusted Snape, but recently, Harry had been doubting the man. Where had he gone the last week? Fred had said something about keeping up appearances and having to to to Voldemort. Harry bought that. But what if Snape was playing them all, and was sent to keep an eye on Draco, who was spying or maybe worse?
Harry thought briefly of what Remus had said the first day of Christmas break. That he was blinded by hatred.
Yeah, Harry didn't like Malfoy. Maybe he did hate him. But this wasn't because he hated Malfoy. It was because he was trying to protect the people he loved.
Keep telling yourself that, a voice in his head said that sounded suspiciously like Hermione.
Brushing it off, he quickly followed the blond boy as he left, determined to get to the bottom of this once and for all.
Snape flinched a little, and Ginny supposed that it was the loudness of the three teens outburst at the same time.
"Oh, no. This is really bad," Ginny felt tears building up in her eyes, and saw the same thing in Melody's. But the look of pure anguish in Fred's made her do a double take. But the look soon turned to anger.
"Why the hell did you just let him leave! You just deliver the news and think he'll be alright?"
But before Snape could say anything, Fred was hurrying down the hall after Draco.
Oh Draco, I'm so sorry.
Draco could feel the tears start to course down his face as he tried desperately not to start sobbing. Merlin. It felt like someone was literally squeezing his heart, and it hurt.
He didn't know when he had made it to the bathroom, but a quick glance in the mirror showed that his eyes were already rimmed red, and the tears were still falling, making what light there was in the room reflect off his pale face.
lost the battle, and a sob broke free. And then another. Heaving a deep
breath, he happened to look in the mirror again, and he saw him.
Draco whirled around, and it didn't escape his notice that there seemed to be resentment and hatred coming off him the other boys in waves.
"What, a fellow Death Eater die? Poor Draco. How devastating." Potter lifted his chin, and the words he spoke were riddled with sarcasm.
Something in Draco snapped, and he yanked his wand out, throwing a hex at the other boy. Potter dodged, and pulled his own wand out. Draco ducked just in time, and the sink that had been behind him a moment ago shattered. Water started to flood the floor.
Suddenly, it hit him what he had just done. He had attacked another student.
But he couldn't just say he was sorry, could he? Oh, no. Not while Potter was charging after him.
Draco turned and ran down the length of the stalls, and quickly hid. He could hear Potter panting over the sound of water, and he suddenly had an inspiration. Getting down on his hands and knees, he looked under the stalls, trying to see where Potter was.
Draco gasped and pulled up, barely getting missed by yet another hex that hit yet another sink.
Deciding to try making a run for it, Draco went around the other side of the stalls. Coming face to face with Potter, he put his wand up, ready to throw up a counter curse to whatever hex was coming next.
But the spell that came out of Potter's mouth was something he had never heard of before.
Draco felt more than heard himself grunt, and he fell back. HE didn't think he was really hearing anything but the sudden roaring in his ears. He suddenly became aware of that there was water everywhere, and it was cold. But there was another liquid on his chest, and it was warm.
Blinking, he took a deep breath, and started to choke.
At first he was panicked, but then he thought of his mother.
His poor, dead mother.
Maybe this wasn't so bad after all.
I'll see you soon, he thought.
Draco was barely aware of someone screaming his name, and then there was nothing.