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

Notes:  Draco wakes up in Snape’s arms to nothing but pain.

Shadows of Truth

Part Eight

Moving . . . someone was moving him, and it hurt terribly.  Draco let out a whimper and tried to get back to the comforting
darkness he had been floating in, but something wouldn’t let him.  There was a nagging thought keeping him conscious, a
worry that he couldn’t grasp at the moment.

He pushed at a covering over his face, finding his body to be much too warm for his liking.  Soon the cool morning air swept
across his face, cooling his aching flesh.  He opened his eyes a crack, as much as he could open them, and could only see the
chest of the person that was carrying him.

“Father  . . . ?”  He asked.  He was surprised when it wasn’t his father’s voice that answered him, but Professor Snape's.

“Hush . . . try and get some rest, Draco.  I’m getting you to Hogwarts.  You’ll be safe there.”  The professor said, a concerned
tinge to his voice.

Draco frowned.  The last thing that he remembered was his father sitting beside him, gently helping to clean the blood from his
face with a soft cloth.  “Where’s my father?”

Snape didn’t reply right away.  No, he paused, as if considering his choice of words.  “Don’t you worry about that now, lad.  
You’re in pretty bad shape.  Besides . . . your father can look after himself.”

Something in the tone of Professor Snape’s voice was off . . . the man sounded worried.  Still . . . Draco was simply too tired
to argue the point, as much as he wanted to.  He settled his head against Snape’s chest, blearily watching the passing scenery
as the older man carried him.  In a few moments, he found himself being taken inside a building . . . Hogwarts, he decided,
seeing the familiar stone walls.  He closed his eyes then, unable to keep them open any longer.

The next thing he knew, he opened his eyes and cried out as pain flared throughout his entire body.  He didn’t remember where
he was . . . who was with him.  Was he still with Voldemort?  Did the cruel wizard intend to punish him further?

A number of hands fell on Draco’s body and Draco thrashed against them, trying to get away.  No, he didn’t want to be hurt
any more.  He had to get away, to escape before anything further happened to him.  He had to flee . . . that was the only
conscious thought in his mind.

“Draco . . . stop.  You’re only going to hurt yourself further.”  Snape . . . that was Professor Snape’s voice.

Draco stilled his body, the wounds covering him throbbing painfully.  He allowed his eyes to focus, finding that he was
surrounded by deeply concerned faces.  Professor Snape was there . . . as was Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore.  
He was safe . . . there was no danger for him here.  He was finally safe.  Voldemort wouldn’t dare come after him while he
was here in Hogwarts.  Slowly, the panic he had felt earlier ebbed away, his racing heart returning to a normal pace.  Now he
was only left with the pain, the horrible agony that comprised his entire body.

“I need you to drink this, Mr. Malfoy.”  Madam Pomfrey urged, pressing a goblet to his lips.

Draco didn’t bother to ask questions.  He opened his mouth, accepting the flood of liquid that filled his mouth.  It was cold at
first, then seemed to only spread warmth throughout him, easing his pains little by little until the aches were only dull reminders
of the horrible agony he had suffered at Voldemort’s hands.  He coughed as the goblet was taken from in front of him, but
eventually the fit subsided.

“M-My baby?”  Draco croaked out, his fears coming to the surface.  Had he lost the child . . . Harry’s child?

Madam Pomfrey set her hand alongside Draco’s face, her eyes filled with tears.  Yet she smiled gently, and spoke with a calm
voice.  “I won’t lie to you and say there isn’t any danger.  Your body has been injured quite badly.  The best we can do is wait
and see, but I swear that I will do all in my power to see to it that your child survives this.”

Draco nodded, believing each and every word she said.  “And my father?  Where is he?”  He blinked, feeling as his weariness
returned.  He fought off sleep though, wanting answers to his questions.  He couldn’t sleep until he knew, wouldn’t sleep until
he knew where his father was.

No one seemed eager to answer that though.  The faces of the people around him turned downcast, worry evident in their
eyes.  This only served to frighten Draco further, to cause him to fear that his father had not survived, that somehow he had
been killed.

Eventually, Dumbledore spoke up.  “I am afraid we do not know what has become of your father, Draco.”  The elder man
said.  “He was last seen outside of the Leaky Cauldron.”

“He stayed behind.”  Professor Snape said grimly.  “To make sure I got you away, he stayed behind to face Voldemort . . . I
do not know what has become of him.”

Draco was thankful for the honesty, but the news was hardly inspirational.  He felt tears in the corners of his eyes, tried to
ignore the burning, the stings of those salty drops running over his fresh injuries.  But his father was most likely dead now.  
How could he stop the fear and sadness when all he wanted to do was weep for his father?

“Sshh . . . calm yourself now, Mr. Malfoy.”  Dumbledore hushed, setting a hand on one of Draco’s shoulders.  When Draco
couldn’t manage to do that, he turned to look at Madam Pomfrey and nodded sadly.

“Draco . . .”  Spoke Madam Pomfrey as she cautiously brushed his tears away.  “I’m going to give you something to help you
sleep . . . peacefully and dreamless.  You’ll need to drink the entire goblet.  Do you understand?”

Draco nodded, trying ineffectually to stop his crying.  He couldn’t help it.  Even as he watched Madam Pomfrey pour a purple
potion into a goblet, his tears fell forth, the aches in his body beginning to throb once more.  He hurt in so many ways.  His
body hurt . . . his feelings were in turmoil.

He drank the liquid when urged to, not truly registering the taste of it as it went down.  He simply couldn’t think of anything
but his father.  Was he dead?  Had Voldemort killed Lucius Malfoy for betraying him?  Then his thoughts turned more grim . . .
his mother . . . was she in danger as well?

He would have voiced his concerns, but thoughts were fading from his mind.  Things were becoming dull and far-off.  He
vaguely heard as he whispered a single word, but for all he knew it could have simply been within his own mind.  “Mother.”  
He murmured, darkness descending quickly to swallow him whole.

To Be Continued . . .