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

Notes:  Harry gets hurt and has to make a trip to the Hospital Wing.



Shadows of Truth



Part Nine


Harry stumbled along the hall, holding one arm close to his body in the effort to keep the pain to a minimum.  Beside him, Ron
trailed, gushing apologies over and over again.  It had been an accident, Harry knew that, so he didn’t really blame Ron.  It
wasn’t Ron’s fault that he hadn’t seen Harry walking up the stairs when he had rushed out of the dorm room . . . wasn’t Ron’
s fault that because of them bumping into each other, Harry had fallen down the stairs and possibly broken his wrist.

“Stop apologizing, Ron.”  Harry sighed, turning to cast a small smile at his friend.

“I didn’t see you, I swear!”  Ron exclaimed.

Harry rolled his eyes.  “For the twentieth time, I KNOW you didn’t see me.  I know it was an accident and I am NOT angry
with you.”  He shook his head as he entered the Hospital Wing.  “Madam Pomfrey?”

The medical witch rushed forward.  “Sshh . . . please keep your voices down.”  She whispered hurriedly.  “I have a patient
here and he’s finally gotten to sleep, the poor dear.”  She sighed sadly, shaking her head.  “Now . . . what seems to be the
problem?”

Harry held up his injured arm, wincing as he did so.  “I took a tumble down the stairs.”

Madam Pomfrey grasped his upper arm, turning the appendage to get a look at it.  “Well, come on then.  I’ll tend to this.  Won’
t take too long.”  She looked over at Ron.  “Go on now, your friend will be just fine . . . he’ll have to stay here the night,
though.”

Ron gulped, turning and giving Harry a shaky grin.  “I really am sorry, Harry . . . didn’t mean to knock you down.”  He said
again.  Then he turned and hurried away before Harry could tell him to stop apologizing yet again.

Harry shook his head as he watched his friend leave.  Then he had to put up with Madam Pomfrey’s foul-tasting potions and
her poking and prodding at his arm.  She simply refused to let him leave after he had drunk that bone-mending brew, all but
forcing him to stay the night in the Hospital Wing.  Harry grudgingly agreed, certain that she would have tied him to the bed if
he had attempted to put up any kind of argument on the subject.


*****


It was the middle of the night when Harry awoke to a strange sound.  At first he couldn’t bring his mind to focus, to quite
grasp what it was that he had heard and identify it.  He sat up in bed, his arm held in a sling against his chest as he fumbled for
his glasses and put them on.

He looked around the darkened room, his eyes already having adjusted to the lack of lighting.  There was something wrong
here, he was certain of it.  It was just that he couldn’t quite figure out what it was that seemed so off.  However, at the distinct
sound of a frightened whimper, Harry blinked.

The other person that was here . . . Madam Pomfrey had said that there was a patient in here when Harry had arrived.  
Whoever it was must be scared, or hurt, or both.  Harry couldn’t fight off his curiosity . . . actually, he didn’t even attempt to.

He threw the blankets off of himself, sitting up in bed and slipping out.  He listened intently, trying to figure out where the
patient was by the sounds that he or she made.  A weak whimper . . . there, from the bed in the farthest corner of the room . .
. the person was over there.  Harry quickly made his way across the room, trying to make as little noise as possible so as not to
alert Madam Pomfrey.  He didn’t want the woman to scold him for being out of bed.  Plus, he really wanted to know who this
injured person was.

Biting his lip, wondering if he was doing the right thing by spying, Harry grasped the edge of the curtain that separated him
from the person on the other side.  Maybe he shouldn’t do this.  He didn’t want to intrude on anyone else’s privacy.

However, the sharp cry that echoed a moment later, made Harry deeply concerned.  Whoever it was, was obviously in a good
deal of pain.  Harry just had to see if there was anything that he could do to help.  He couldn’t deny the urge to at least check.  
If need be, he’d run and get Madam Pomfrey himself, anything to be of help.

He took a deep breath, giving himself a chance to compose himself.  Then Harry yanked the curtain aside and stepped toward
the bed, nearly falling over in shock once he realized who it was he was looking at.


*****


Draco wearily looked up as he heard the curtain shift.  He blinked, not believing his eyes for a moment when he saw Harry
Potter standing there.  Was it really him?  Or was it some cruel image conjured to torment him?  Draco didn’t know anymore.  
Things were disjointed, his emotions in turmoil.  He didn’t know what to believe anymore.

“H-Harry?”  Draco asked, his voice a grating whisper.  It was the best he could manage though.  After the torture he had been
through, his voice was raw . . . if only from his screams.

“Draco?”  Harry asked in reply, his tone portraying shock.  The sling on the Gryffindor’s arm surprised Draco, but he said
nothing about it.

Harry rushed to Draco’s side, raising his hand, but he hesitated in setting it down on Draco’s pain-riddled body, probably not
knowing where he could set his hand and not cause pain.  Draco appreciated the effort, but didn’t feel worthy of it.  He had
selfishly used Harry for his own purposes, just so that he could put an end to Voldemort’s devious plans.

“Draco . . . what happened to you?”  Harry asked, setting his hand down over Draco’s fingers that lay limply on the bed . . .
probably the one and only place where there wasn’t a bruise or an injury of some kind.

That one single question was enough . . . Draco simply lost control.  He ignored his body’s protests and flung himself at Harry,
wrapping weak arms around the Gryffindor’s body.  Pain immediately swept through him, prying a muffled shriek from his
aching throat.  Still, he would not pull away . . . Harry had helped him before . . . he could help him again.

“Voldemort . . .”  Draco cried against Harry’s chest, feeling as an arm wrapped gently around his back, holding him against the
strong body he clung to.  “H-He . . . I’m sorry I used you, Harry!”

“Sshh . . .”  Harry hushed, laying his cheek against the top of Draco’s head.  “Tell me what happened.  Why are you
apologizing to me?”

Draco took a shaky breath, stilling himself.  Harry would hate him for this, would despise what he had become, Draco was
certain of it.  But still . . . Harry deserved to know the truth, all of the truth.  He swallowed, opening his mouth and allowing it
all to spill forth.

It came so easily, Draco could scarcely believe that he was actually speaking it himself.  He told Harry of the ceremony before
school started, told him of the spell, of the reasons for why he had wanted Harry to take him to bed that night on Halloween.  
He confessed to the beautiful Gryffindor that he was pregnant with his child, telling everything in the order as it had happened .
. . eventually speaking of the meeting with Voldemort and the failed completion of the Dark Lord’s cruel spell.  Lastly, Draco
told Harry about the pain, the torture and brutal rapes . . . the suffering . . . and how his father had rescued him from death and
had given Professor Snape the needed time to escape by standing against Voldemort outside of the Leaky Cauldron.  And then
he cried, his tears bitter and burning as he dug his sore fingers into Harry’s strong body.  He could only hope that Harry would
not hate him for this.


*****


Harry stood in shock as he cradled the broken body of Draco Malfoy, hardly believing his ears as he listened to the cruel
torments that Draco had suffered through.  But here Draco was, a testament to his own pain, his body covered in bruises and
wounds, cuts and contusions . . . Harry couldn’t see a single inch of his once perfect skin that wasn’t marred by injury in
some way.

Draco stilled against him, his sobbing slowing to barely audible whimpers.  Harry sighed, looking down at the trembling body
that he held, frowning at the sight of Draco’s unconscious form.  He had fallen asleep against him, probably exhausted.

Harry gently set Draco down, taking a seat on the edge of the bed beside him.  He slipped his fingers along Draco’s palm,
tenderly clasping the blonde’s hand.  He wanted to offer the other youth comfort, but he wasn’t sure of how he could do that.

“I see that young Mr. Malfoy has found someone to confide in.”  A kind and familiar voice quietly said.

Harry turned, only to see Professor Dumbledore standing not too far off.

“I . . . I . . . and he . . .”  Harry frowned, not knowing what to say, what to think.  Draco had let out so many secrets, told him
so much.  Pregnant . . . Draco was pregnant, with Harry’s baby.  Harry shook his head, sighing deeply as he turned to look at
Draco once again.  He was going to be a father . . . Draco was carrying his child.  Harry could scarcely believe it.  Maybe he
had hit his head when he had fallen down those stairs.  Perhaps this all was some twisted dream, an image conjured by his own
mind.

As if reading his thoughts, Professor Dumbledore chuckled.  “Don’t fret yourself, Harry . . . this is no dream.  Sadly, it is all
very real.”  The headmaster said, stepping closer to Harry.  “It will take all of us time to get used to these changes, but Draco
by far has the most to grow accustomed to.”

“Voldemort wanted to hurt him, to use him . . .”  Harry trailed off.

Dumbledore nodded, sighing.  “Yes, we can only be thankful that his spell cannot be completed now, at least not for another
five thousand years.  An alignment such as the one needed for the spell is quite a rare thing.”  Dumbledore ran a finger lightly
along Draco’s bruised cheek.  “It is unfortunate that Mr. Malfoy had to suffer so in order to prevent it though . . . I wish he
would have come to me sooner . . .”

He didn’t complete the thought, letting it hang in the air.  Professor Dumbledore raised his gaze, smiling at Harry.  He set his
hand on Harry’s shoulder, looking him directly in the eye.

“Harry, as you know, Draco will need help to recover.  And since you seem to be the one and only one he trusts, I feel I must
ask if you are willing to be there for him.”  Dumbledore whispered, casting a quick glance to Draco’s slumbering form.  
“Would you consider it?”

Harry nodded, not needing a moment to think about it.  He wanted to help Draco.  “I don’t have to consider it, sir.  I want to
help him.”

“Good . . . good.”  The Headmaster smiled.  “I will make the necessary arrangements.  Mr. Malfoy will be removed from
Slytherin House and transferred to Gryffindor.  I believe it will be more beneficial if you are close at hand, there for him
whenever he finds the need to speak with you.”

Harry nodded again.  “Yes, sir.”

Dumbledore patted Harry’s shoulder lightly.  “I’ll inform your house mates in the morning.  Now . . . I think that you should
return to bed and get some rest.”

“I will in a moment, sir . . . I just want to sit here a moment longer.”  Harry responded.

“As you wish, Harry.”  Professor Dumbledore sighed, smiling slightly.  He turned and strode from the room, leaving the
Hospital Wing just as quietly as he had entered it.

Harry returned his attention to Draco, sighing as he watched the young man sleep.  He did want to help Draco, in any way that
he could.



To Be Continued . . .