Disclaimers:  I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.

Notes:  Harry thinks about the dream he had on his way to the train.  He accidentally bumps into the figment of his dreams,
and decides to get some answers when he notices something startling.

Shadows of Truth

Part One

Harry frowned as he walked toward the train.  The dream was still vivid in his mind, the sight of Draco’s twisted body lying in
a motionless heap, blood surrounding skin as white as the snow that blanketed the grounds of Hogwarts.  It couldn’t have just
been a dream.  There had to be more to it than a simple nightmare . . . but what?

He was so lost in thought that he had just barely noticed when one of the Weasley twins took his trunks from him to be stowed
because they complained that he was taking too long.  The only reason he HAD noticed is because the one who took his trunks
- and he wasn’t sure which twin it was - had been forced to pry Harry’s fingers off the cart that he had been using to push his

As it was now, he only held Hedwig’s cage.  His thoughts continued swirling around the strange dream he had last night.  Was
there more to it than a simple figment of his subconscious mind?  He couldn’t stop dwelling on it, couldn’t keep his mind from
returning to the disturbing thoughts that plagued his every waking and sleeping moment.  He was still trying to piece everything
together when he was brought out of his reverie rather forcefully.  He crashed into someone and sent the person sprawling.

“Oh, my.  I’m terribly sorry.”  Harry apologized as he tried to calm Hedwig who was squaking in her cage.  Then he flicked
his eyes over to who he had inadvertently knocked down, a frown immediately coming to his face as he saw who it was.

“You damn well better be sorry, Potter!”  Malfoy seethed as he struggled to right himself.  He glared at Harry, his face
contorted into a hateful sneer as he dusted his clothing off.

Harry blinked, his eyes widening as he briefly caught sight of a rather long cut on Draco’s arm.  That was just where the
Malfoy in his dream had been hurt, Harry remembered, finding this oddly coincidental.  It had to mean something.

“How did you get that?”  Harry asked, despite his own common sense.  He probably wouldn’t get an answer, but he at least
had to ask.  The cut . . . it was too odd, too similar to the one he had seen in his dream.

Malfoy looked down, setting his hand over his own forearm.  The color quickly drained from his face, his eyes filling with a
terrified gleam.  He turned widened eyes to look at Harry, his mouth opening and closing a few times before he finally said
anything.  “You mind your own damn business!”  Draco nearly yelled, turning and rushing off to disappear into the crowd.

Harry frowned.  He couldn’t just let Malfoy run off like that, not without getting some answers.  He made a move to chase
after Malfoy, only to turn when he felt a hand clamp down on his shoulder.  He blinked, seeing Ron standing there.

“Here, take Hedwig and find a compartment on the train.  I have to do something.”  Harry said, thrusting Hedwig’s cage into
Ron’s hands and rushing off without another word to chase after his arch rival.

Harry didn’t know exactly where Malfoy had run off to.  He didn’t even know if he was heading in the right direction to find
the Slytherin git.  But still, he briskly walked, looking around now and again to see if he could catch even a glimpse of the other
youth’s blonde hair.

Finally he did, and he pushed his way through the crowd.  He had seen Malfoy getting on the train, just a few yards away.  
And so, Harry got on the train as well, looking in each compartment and apologizing each time he found himself looking at
someone other than who he was searching for.

Sighing, getting tired of barging into the wrong compartments, Harry slid open yet another.  At last, he was happy to see that
he had finally found the right place.  There was Malfoy, sitting in a seat and staring out of the window.  He turned to Harry as
Harry slid the door shut behind himself.

“What do you want?”  Malfoy glared, his eyes tainted with a twinge of fear and pain that didn’t belong there.

It was so odd to see Malfoy in a condition other than that of arrogance . . . and for some reason Harry didn’t find the sight to
be the least bit pleasing.  He had rejoiced the last time that Malfoy had been frightened, and yet it held no novelty now, not after
that nightmare, that vision that had plagued Harry’s sleep.

Harry pulled the shade down, making sure that no one could look in and see this.  Then he moved over and sat beside Malfoy.  
Without a word, he grabbed the Slytherin’s arm, harshly pushing the sleeve up to reveal an angry looking wound.  “I asked you
before.  How did you get this?”  Harry asked, gesturing down at the injury.

“And I told you to mind your own damn business!”  Malfoy yanked his arm from Harry’s grasp, only to grit his teeth and
screw his eyes shut in obvious pain.

Harry blinked, looking on in concern as Malfoy shuddered rather violently.  It didn’t look as if Malfoy was going to give any
answers this way, and yet Harry knew that he needed to hear what was going on with him.  There was most definitely
something wrong with him.  He looked to be in terrible pain, not to mention ill.

“I . . . I think I know what happened to you.”  Harry whispered.  He had no other recourse but to tell Malfoy of his dream, or
at least to say something.  So, he did.  “You were in a cold, dark place . . . there were men in hoods.  They chained you down
to a hard surface, bound your ankles and your arms so that you were stretched out.  Then they brutally beat and whipped you,
then cut at your skin with sharp knives.  Then you were forced to drink a rather nasty tasting potion while Voldemort put some
kind of a curse on you.  That cut on your arm goes almost from your shoulder to your wrist.”  He knew that he sounded
completely mad, and it took him a moment before he was able to look up at Malfoy again, just knowing that the other youth
would laugh about this with his friends.

Instead, what Harry saw was the wide-eyed gaze of Draco’s Malfoy’s stare.  He was white as a sheet, his body trembling
slightly.  “H-How did you know that?”  Draco asked, his voice no more than a ragged whisper.

Harry ran his fingers through his unruly black hair, sighing as he divulged the truth.  “I saw it in a dream last night.  I watched
everything, certain that it was a figment of my imagination due to something I had eaten.”  He regarded Draco, who was paler
than Harry had ever seen the Slytherin youth before.  “Can I see?  Maybe I can be of some help.  You can’t be very

Draco nodded slowly and shakily stripped off his robe and shirt . . . leaving the ugly red welts and vicious looking gashes to
show, the dark bruises standing out against pale flesh.  Harry didn’t have any bandages, or even any water, but he tenderly
touched a few of the bruises, frowning as Draco hissed in pain each time.  “I don’t suppose you’ll go to Madam Pomfrey.”

Draco shook his head.  “She’ll ask too many questions.”

Harry helped Draco to dress, glad that Draco wore a soft undershirt that wouldn’t irritate his injuries too much.  “Listen, I
know we never got along before . . . and maybe I’m partially to blame for that.  But, if you ever want someone to talk to . . .
you can come to me.  I’d be discreet about it, no one would ever have to know.  You don’t have to be nice to me or anything .
. . but . . .”  He shrugged, not knowing what else to say.

Draco sighed.  “I’ll keep that in mind.”  He smiled a little, keeping his eyes averted.  “Thank you for the offer and for being
understanding.  Quite a lot of people would have used this to their advantage.”

Harry shrugged.  “It’s the way I am.  I’d stay with you, but Ron might get worried and come looking for me and he’ll ask too
many questions.”  He stood up.  “Maybe you should try and get some rest.”

“Yes, I suppose I could.”  Draco said.  He leaned back in his seat, wincing in pain before he crossed his arms over his chest.

“Meet me in the Astronomy Tower after the feast tonight.  You're hurt pretty badly.  Someone should tend to those injuries of
yours . . . might as well be me.”  He smirked, then left the compartment, not waiting for a reply from the other youth.  He
wasn’t about to give him an opportunity to decline.  Draco obviously needed the help, and Harry would help him.

Harry walked along the train, eventually finding the compartment that Ron and Hermione were in.  He gave some lame excuse
about seeing someone he had to ask a question, and they didn’t question him any further really.  Harry sighed, turning his head
and looking out the window as the scenery passed them by, lost in his thoughts of Draco Malfoy and that dream.  It had been
real . . . but then what the hell was going on?  And would the rest of it come true as well?  Would Draco jump off the tower
sometime during the winter?  Harry certainly hoped not, and at the moment was regretting his decision to have Malfoy meet
him in the tower . . . maybe that was a mistake.

To Be Continued . . .