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

Notes: Draco awakens to pain and suffering, seeing nothing but the darkness.  Some unexpected allies arrive to lend him help
in his time of need.

Shadows of Truth

Part Fourteen

Draco came to slowly.  He hurt.  He hurt all over.  Even after one of Voldemort’s beatings, he hadn’t hurt this much.  He
blinked open his eyes and fought off a wave of panic when it made no difference in what he saw.  All was darkness.  Panic
would not be a good thing for the baby.

The baby!  Draco whimpered and struggled to get free.  He wanted to touch his stomach, as if anything he could do at the
moment would undo any harm that his little one had already suffered.  There was one consolation though.  None of the aches
he felt were the result of someone using his body for pleasure.

He vaguely remembered the events of the day.  He had spent breakfast with Harry, had then walked to the Hospital Wing with
Hermione.  No, Hermione had gone back to the Tower before they had reached the Hospital Wing.  And then Randall had
appeared.  Draco shuddered, now remembering why he could not see anything beyond the darkness.  Randall had raised his
wand, had cast a curse.  Draco was blind now.

He had been terrified when the Slytherins had dragged him from Hogwarts, taken him outside.  He had felt nothing but fear, not
knowing where they were taking him or what they meant to do to him.  It wasn’t until they stopped that he figured out he had
been brought into the dark forest.

They had stretched his arms out and bound him to the trees, raised his body so that his feet could just barely reach the ground.  
His wrists bled as the harsh ropes chaffed his skin.  And then they had begun beating him, going so far as to cast the Cruciatus
curse to cause him suffering.  He didn’t remember blacking out.  But he must have.

But was he alone here now?  Or were they waiting, watching him?  Maybe this was all some trick, a cruel joke meant to
torment him further.  They could be waiting to cause him pain again.  He shivered in the cold air, his chest and legs bare to the
winter chill.

Someone or something touched his arm and Draco yelped in alarm.  “No!  Please, no more!”  He cried out, struggling to get
away from the hands.

“Sshh . . . it’s just us.”  A familiar voice said.  It was Goyle, one of his former house mates.  “Crabbe and I had no control
over what was happening, and there were too many for us to stop.”  He said.

Draco shuddered as he allowed himself to relax a little.  He wanted Harry, but he doubted that he’d be able to find his beloved
in his present condition.

Crabbe continued speaking where Goyle left off.

“We tried to talk them out of it.  But you know how stupid we are.  We wouldn’t have even gotten this far in Hogwarts if you
hadn’t helped us.”  Crabbe said.

“When we saw that Randall had no intention of stopping, we decided it might be better if we pretended to join in . . . so we
could see where they were taking you . . . you know?  It had seemed like a good idea.”  Goyle sighed.  “I guess we should
have gotten help instead.”

Draco cried out as one of his arms was freed.  He had no idea how long he’d been tied to those trees, but the return of
circulation to his arms and hands hurt terribly.

Something soft came around his body, cloth.  He grasped at it with shaking hands, his entire body trembling as he pulled the
covering tighter around himself.  He fell to his knees on the ground, too weak to stay standing.  He was tired.  He was hurting.

“Come on, we’ll take you someplace safe.”  Crabbe said, and then there were hands gently taking hold of Draco’s arms to help
him up.

Draco nodded.  He wanted to go to sleep, wanted so desperately to fall back into the blissful unawareness that he had been
trapped in not too long ago.

“Thank you.”  Draco whispered, walking as Crabbe and Goyle led him.  He had no other choice.  Even if they meant him
further harm, there was no defense he could put up, not now anyway.  He was completely at their mercy and could only hope
that they were speaking the truth.


Hagrid sat in front of his fireplace, humming a simple tune as he ran his knife over the piece of wood clutched in his other
hand.  He was whittling, a quiet way to pass the time, which he took great enjoyment in.  He didn’t yet know what this new
piece would be.  Perhaps another flute, or a figure of some sort, but he’d know eventually.  Things like this just couldn’t be

However, he was stopped by a loud, incessant knocking to his door.  “Who’s there?”  He called, even as he rose to his feet,
Fang barking at the sound of this unexpected visitor.

“It’s Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle . . . sir.”  Said a voice from the other side of the door, a waver to his tone.  “Please,
Pr-Professor, let us in.  It’s urgent!”

Hagrid frowned in confusion.  True, the Malfoy boy was turning out all right now, ever since he had started seeing Harry, but
Hagrid had no idea why the blonde’s old cronies would be knocking at the door to his hut.  As far as he knew, they were as
they had always been, bullies and braggarts.

However, curiosity, and the frightened tone of Crabbe’s voice, prompted him to open the door.

“Merlin’s beard!  What ‘appened to him?”  He opened the door wider to allow Crabbe and Goyle, who were supporting a
whimpering and beaten Draco, into the warm hut.

“Well . . . a few Slytherins . . .”  Goyle started.

Hagrid cut him off though.  “Never mind now . . . go to the castle and get Madam Pomfrey!  Migh’ as well get Professor
Snape as well, seeing as it’s Slytherin House that attacked him.  Go on now, both of yeh!  I’ll settle Draco in.  Dare say he’s
‘ad a bit of a shock.”

He very gently took Draco from the arms of the two young Slytherins, watching for a moment as they ran from his hut and
back to the castle.

“There, there lad.  I’m sure it’ll be all righ’.”  Hagrid said, easing the shaking blonde into his chair by the fire, covering his
battered body with a warm blanket.  “Let me fix yeh a cup o’ tea.  And . . . what’s wrong with yer eyes?”

Draco’s voice was soft.  “One of them cast a spell . . . a curse.  I . . . I can’t see.”  He closed his eyes, shaking his head.  “I
don’t care about my eyes, though.  M-My baby . . . what about my baby?”  He sniffled and rubbed a hand over his stomach,
as if terrified that this ordeal had caused his unborn child some harm.

Hagrid sighed.  He knew of the boy’s condition.  All of his Professors had been informed of his pregnancy, so that they could
be on the lookout in case anything should happen.  So far the students didn’t know, with the exception of Harry, Ron, and
Hermione.  They had been lucky keeping it a secret, although they couldn’t keep the news quiet for much longer.  It was only a
matter of time before one student discovered the secret and spread it around school.

“There, there . . . Madam Pomfrey will be here soon.”  Hagrid said, trying to keep the boy calm.  It wouldn’t do him any good
to start panicking.  “She’ll know better than me if yeh’ll be okay or not.”  He frowned as he looked at Draco’s face, finding the
number of bruises there to be disturbing.  “Don’t yeh fret none.  Just try and relax.  Oh, I should have told one o’ them lads to
fetch Harry.  Yeh’ll be wantin’ him soon, I’d reckon.”

Draco said nothing.  He sat there with his eyes closed, his body shivering despite the warmth in the hut.  Hagrid was worried.  
Fang whined and moved to lay by the chair, looking up at Draco once before settling himself down.

“Well . . . I have some nice tea here . . . herbal, too, since regular is not good for wee ones.”  Hagrid said, feeling that he
should do something.  He went about fixing a cup of chamomile tea for his young guest.  ‘Snape has sense.  He’ll know to
send one of them boys to fetch Harry.’  Hagrid thought, nodding to himself.  All he had to do was keep Draco calm until
Madam Pomfrey arrived.

To Be Continued . . .