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

Notes:  Draco discovers the results of the curse that Voldemort put on him.  Harry fears that his nightmare is about to come
true.



Shadows of Truth



Part Four


Draco trembled as he looked through the books in the library once again.  It had been two months since that curse had been
cast upon him by the Dark Lord, and still Draco wasn’t certain of what it was supposed to do.  He had a sense of what the
curse had done to him, but he had to be sure before he made any decisions.  He simply couldn’t find the curse that he had
heard Voldemort speaking, not in any of the books he had searched through already.  It had to be here, all he needed to do was
keep searching.

It was Halloween Eve, and here Draco was searching through books.  Tonight was the ball, and Draco was dressed to attend
it.  He wore his finest robes, but still had no intention of going to the Great Hall just yet.  He had to find the meaning of the
curse, whatever it may be.  The question nagged at his every waking and sleeping moment, nightmares of the night it was cast
on him repeating in his mind.

Maybe he should have gone to Potter.  But no . . . his pride kept him from speaking to the famous youth, his own self-doubts
eating away at him.  He was amazed that the whole of Gryffindor hadn’t been poking fun at him this term, that Potter had kept
quiet about what Draco’s physical condition had been like at the beginning of the year.

He tugged at his robes and looked out a nearby window.  He shuddered to think of what would happen to him come Christmas
Break should the curse be what he feared it to be.  That was undoubtedly when this curse was to be put to use . . . the Winter
Solstice was one of the most powerful nights of the year, a perfect time for spells and Voldemort’s plots . . . whatever they
may be.  Whatever Voldemort had planned for him, that was when it would take place . . . when Draco was away from
Hogwarts for the winter holidays.

He couldn’t join the festivities yet . . . no, not until he was sure.  Besides, he didn’t feel all that festive as it was.  He had to
know . . . and he had an idea of where he should be looking.  With a sigh, Draco pulled a book off of one of the shelves and
took it over to a reading desk.

Draco poured through the contents, scanning each and every page to find the spell.  The passage of time was ignored . . . he
had to find it.  Finally, at long last, after searching for two months, he had found it.  However, it was just as terrible as he had
feared it to be.  He reread the passage over and over again with widened eyes, his breath caught in his throat.  He didn’t want
to believe it.

Shaking his head, Draco slammed the book shut and rushed out of the library.  He didn’t pay attention to where he was
heading, didn’t care one little bit.  He needed to get away, to distance himself from people.  He had to think.

When he finally looked around, Draco blinked.  The astronomy tower . . . it wasn’t too far from here.  Tears came to his eyes,
but he forced them back, not wanting to feel the despair that ached in his chest.  He took off at a run, within minutes reaching
the top of the tower.  He climbed a ladder to the top, to where he could see all of the nighttime sky, as well as the grounds
around him.

Closing his eyes, Draco took a breath, his tears finally falling from below his eyelids.  The chill of the night surrounded him,
encasing him . . . he shivered, the air much too cold for this time of year.  Then, something damp and cold touched his cheek.  
Draco opened his eyes, only to blink in shock.  Snow . . . it was snowing in October . . . how strange.

Draco held out his hand, watching as a snowflake landed on his palm and melted.  He held back a sob, not believing that his
father would allow this to happen to him.  Why hadn’t he protected Draco?  Why had he let Voldemort hurt him and use him in
this manner?  Draco couldn’t understand it.  

He clenched his hand into a fist, knowing what he had to do now.  There was no other option for him.  He couldn’t allow this
curse to be put to use by Voldemort, couldn’t let it continue.  He had to stop it and he had to stop it now while he had the
chance.  And Draco only saw one way to put it to an end.  He looked down at the grounds below, the cold air whipping around
him as he considered this, his final resort . . . perhaps it wouldn’t hurt too much.


*****


Harry sighed as he fastened the clasp of his dress robes.  For the past two months, Harry had been keeping an eye on Malfoy,
so had Hermione and Ron.  Even if they were enemies, he didn’t want anything to happen to Draco . . . it was strange . . . last
year he hadn’t given a damn whether Draco Malfoy was hurt or not.  But now, after seeing all those horrible injuries, after
having that nightmare, in which he had suffered along with the blonde Slytherin, he couldn’t shake off the concern he felt.

Still, there was one part of that dream that had not come to pass just yet.  The snow . . . the high tower . . . Draco’s plummet
to his death.  Harry shook his head, trying to clear the images from his mind, but to no avail.  Even if he was no longer having
the dreams, he couldn’t stop remembering.  It was disturbing, the image of those dead, empty eyes staring back at him from
the lifeless corpse.  Merlin help him, Harry did not want to see that dream come to life, did not want to see those piercing grey
eyes turn vacant with death.  He didn’t want Draco to die.

Taking a breath, Harry turned his gaze to look out the window, his eyes flying wide when he saw what lay outside.  “Ron!  
Hermione!”  He yelled, calling out to his friends in his loudest voice as his body broke out into shivers.

His friends wasted no time in arriving, although Hermione looked a bit uncomfortable with being in the boys’ dorm room.  
“What is it, Harry?”  Ron asked.

“Is something wrong?  Are you feeling well?”  Hermione questioned.

With a shaking hand, Harry pointed to the window, his mouth dry as he gasped out the only sentence he could formulate.  “It .
. . It’s snowing.”  He whispered, watching as the delicate flakes drifted past the window.

“You don’t think . . .”  Ron said, but Harry didn't allow him to finish.

“Ron . . . It’s snowing . . . and we’re all in dress robes.  My dream . . . this is my dream . . . my nightmare.  He’s going to kill
himself!”  Harry exclaimed, his very bones demanding that he run to the nearest tower and find Draco Malfoy.  “I have to find
him before he does it!  I have to stop him!”

“Right.”  Hermione nodded.  “It was you in the dream, not us.  It’s up to you I guess.  Ron and I will go to the ball and make
sure he’s not there.”

Ron nodded.  “The highest tower . . . he’s likely to be there.  Good luck, Harry . . . for his sake, and yours, I hope you find
him in time.”

Harry smiled and nodded.  He did have to do this on his own.  The dreams . . . he had been alone, it had been him that Draco
had asked for help.  He had to go alone.  With that thought in mind, he ran off to the highest tower, praying that he would
make it there before it was too late.


*****


Draco stood there, not knowing exactly what he was waiting for as the wind whipped around his body, chilling him to the
bone.  He stared down at the ground, watching as the snow coated it, wondering if it would be painful when he finally did take
the plunge.  If it was, he could only hope that the pain wouldn’t last too long, that it would fade upon his demise.

He took a deep breath and was about to raise his foot to take the final leap when a pair of arms grabbed him about his knees
and pulled, making him fall backwards and into the main room of the Astronomy Tower.  He blinked in surprise a moment
before he realized that someone was hugging him fiercely and sobbing.  It took him another minute to recognize the person
who was thanking every star in the heavens that he had arrived in time.

“Harry . . . ?  Potter . . . ?  What?  But Why?”  Draco asked, confused as he turned himself to face the youth that had just
saved him from death.

Potter took a deep breath and let it out.  He looked immensely relieved, not to mention out of breath and sweating profusely.  “I
could ask you the same thing.  Why?  What’s so bad that you’d want to take your own life?  What happened?  I told you that
you could come to me if you needed someone to talk to.”

Draco couldn’t stop his own sobs from welling up.  He closed his eyes against the tears, fighting them back as he forced out
an answer.  “I didn’t know what else to DO!”  He payed no heed to the fact that Potter was holding him as the tears finally fell
forth.

When Draco calmed, he noticed that Potter was still holding him, his strong arms pressing their bodies close.  At the same
time, he realized that the embrace made him feel a measure of safety that he hadn’t known in years.  It was like nothing could
harm him so long as he was in Potter’s . . . Harry’s arms.

Draco sighed and rested his head on Harry’s shoulder, raising his hands to lightly clutch at the dress robes that the Gryffindor
wore.  “So warm.”

“Feeling better, Draco?”  Harry asked, his voice laced with concern.  It was nice to know that someone cared whether he lived
or died.

Draco smiled at Harry and almost pummeled himself when realization struck him.  Here was the perfect solution to his
problem.  The curse placed on him . . . Harry could help . . . he could save Draco from the agony that would await him during
Christmas Break.  He only had to do one thing, just one little thing to ensure it.  With a smile on his face, Draco reached up and
caressed one of his pale fingers along the tanned skin of Harry’s cheek.  “Much.”

Harry blinked, and got the sweetest confused expression on his face.  “Ummm . . . what are you doing?”  

Draco chuckled.  “I never realized . . . just how attractive you are.”  He hoped that Harry wouldn’t leave, that he wouldn’t
reject him . . . and was pleased when Harry merely blushed in response to Draco’s words and actions.  “Such lovely eyes.”  He
murmured, leaning forward and delicately applying his lips to Harry’s.

Harry’s lips were soft . . . pliant.  Draco could easily forget his worries in this manner.  He maneuvered himself in Harry's
arms, moving to straddle Harry’s thighs, all the time keeping his mouth attached to Harry’s.  Then he gave a tentative lick to
Harry’s slightly parted lips and pulled back.

“Draco . . . what . . . but . . .”  Harry stammered, his cheeks flushed, his eyes wide.  He looked adorably confused.

Draco raised his hand, laying his fingers across Harry’s lips to hush his attempts at speech.  He didn’t need to hear anything,
not yet.  “Sshh, don’t say anything.”  Draco whispered, moving to lay his head against Harry’s shoulder.  “Please . . . Please,
Harry.”  

He gulped, not believing that he was about to ask this, to say these words to Harry Potter of all people.  But it would help.  It
had to help.  He had no other choice.  If Harry refused him, he would have to return to the ledge . . . there was no other option
left to him.  Feeling as his body was trembling, Draco pulled himself away from Harry, looking deep into his emerald eyes as he
spoke the words that were burning in his mind.

“I want you, Harry.  Please . . . please make love to me.”



To Be Continued . . .