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

Notes:  Harry finds out where Draco is and runs to be by his side.



Shadows of Truth



Part Fifteen


Harry paced the Gryffindor common room in anxiety.  With every step, his worry only seemed to increase.  It was after dinner
and Draco hadn’t been seen since just after breakfast.  All Harry wanted to do was to run out and search for him.  But
Dumbledore had told him to wait here, that the teachers would handle looking for him.

“Why haven’t they found him yet?”  Harry asked, kicking away one of Hermione’s books that lay scattered on the floor.

Hermione sniffled miserably from where she was sitting.  Her eyes were red from crying.  “I’m so s-sorry, Harry!  I-I shouldn’
t have . . . have left him!  This is all my fault!”  She wailed, then promptly buried her face in her hands.  Ron reached over to
awkwardly pat her shoulder, a deep frown set on his features.

Harry paused in his pacing to regard Hermione.  “Hermione, for the thousandth time, this is not your fault.  You couldn’t have
known that something was going to happen to him.”

“But I left him.  I forgot a book and I left him.”  Hermione cried.  “I should have stayed with him.”

“There’s no point in crying over this now.  It’s too late to do anything about it.”  Ron said, crossing his arms over his chest.  
“I’m sure Draco will be found soon.  We’ll just have to be patient.”

A loud commotion outside the Common Room quickly brought all conversation to a halt.  The Fat Lady was most definitely
yelling at someone, telling them to go away, that they didn’t belong here.  Curious, Harry moved over to the exit, telling the Fat
Lady to let him out, since she didn’t let him leave right away.

Harry blinked in shock when he saw Goyle standing in the hallway.  “What do you want here?”  He demanded, crossing his
arms over his chest as he glared wholeheartedly at the other youth.

Goyle looked at Harry and seemed to sag in relief.  “Oh, thank Merlin I’ve found you.  Professor Snape sent me to get you and
bring you to Hagrid’s hut.”  He reached forward, grasping Harry’s sleeve to tug him forward.  “You’ve got to come with me.”

Ron was at Harry’s side in a heartbeat.  “Why?  What’ve you got up your sleeve?”

The Slytherin student shook his head, releasing his grip on Harry’s sleeve.  “Nothing, I swear!”  He took a breath, letting it out
before continuing.  “Look, a bunch of the other boys in Slytherin thought it’d be a lark to drag Draco out and beat him up.  
Crabbe and I couldn’t stop them . . . we’re still in Slytherin.”

Harry felt like a lead weight had dropped into the pit of his stomach.  His heart began to drum in his ears, his hands shaking.  
“W-What happened?  Is Draco all right?”  Though his mind screamed to ask about the condition of the baby, Harry didn’t
voice those worries.  He didn’t want to put Draco into any further danger.

Goyle bit his bottom lip.  “Crabbe and I brought him to Hagrid’s hut.  He sent us to get Snape and Madam Pomfrey.  Snape
sent me to get you.”  He glanced to where Ron and Hermione were standing and shrugged.  “Ron and Hermione can come
along if they must.  I wouldn’t blame you at all for not trusting me, but please hurry.”

Harry didn’t have to be told twice.  His only concern was for Draco and for the baby.  He followed Goyle, heedless of the fact
that Ron and Hermione were right behind him.  Draco was all that mattered, his health and life all that Harry cared about.

After what seemed like an eternity, Harry was approaching Hagrid’s hut.  He barely noticed that Hermione and Ron were still
trailing him, but he was immensely grateful for their companionship.  Still, the sooner he got to Draco, the sooner he could
assure himself that Draco and the baby were safe.  He didn’t even pause to say hello when Hagrid opened the door for him.  He
simply called out to the one person that had been on his mind.

“Draco?”

Draco’s voice was faint and full of fear and confusion.  “Harry?”

Harry didn’t even look at Draco’s injuries.  He just ran over, pushing past Professor Snape and Madam Pomfrey.  He sat beside
Draco and pulled the blonde into a reassuring embrace.  “It’s all right.”  He whispered into his beloved’s ear.  “I’m here.  You’
re safe.”

Draco sniffled against him.  “The baby?”  He asked with a weak voice, his hands awkwardly rising to clutch at Harry’s robes.

“Your baby is perfectly healthy.”  Madam Pomfrey announced, reaching to set her hand on Draco’s knee.  “Your eyes are
another matter though.”

Harry blinked, pulling away from Draco to look into his eyes.  He frowned, seeing there was no focus within the silver depths.  
“What’s happened?”

“His former house mates decided it would be a good idea to render him helpless with the use of a blinding hex.”  Snape
sneered, his arms crossed over his chest.  “Lot of cowards.”  He added with a muted mutter.

“His eyes can be fixed, can’t they?”  Harry asked, concerned for Draco.

Madam Pomfrey nodded.  “Of course.  There’s only a minor problem though.”

“Problem?”  Hermione asked.  “What kind of a problem?”

“Yes, well . . . the most common cure for this is a potion.  Unfortunately, it is quite hazardous when administered during
pregnancy.”  She cleared her throat.  “There’s a less used potion.  But it is very time consuming to make and I don’t have all of
the necessary ingredients in my . . .”

“I will be brewing it.”  Snape interrupted.  “However, it will still be a number of days before it is ready for use.”

Draco’s arms tightened around Harry’s body.  “I’m going to be blind for days?”  He whimpered, leaning closer to Harry.

Harry didn’t like the sound of that very much himself.  He swept his hand across Draco’s back, trying to comfort him with
tender caresses.  “It’s all right.  At least it’s not permanent.”  He said, trying to offer a bright side to this dreadful day.

Draco’s only response was a light moan, a barely audible sound.

Harry sighed, wishing he could offer something more than these weak attempts at comfort.  It didn’t seem to be doing very
much good.  Silence descended, weighing heavily upon the people in the hut.  For several long moments, no one said a word.

It was Madam Pomfrey who broke the silence.  “Well, I’ve done all I can for Draco tonight.  I suggest he get a good night’s
rest.”  She said, moving to the door.  She looked back, her eyes soft and full of worry.  “See to it he doesn’t push himself.  His
wounds may be minor, but he is in a delicate condition now.  Stress would not be wise.”

Snape nodded.  “It would be best for him not to return to the Gryffindor Tower.”  He said, bending slightly and pulling Draco
from Harry’s embrace.  Draco whimpered at the loss of contact, reaching out blindly to Harry as Snape lifted his beaten form
into his arms.

“What?  Where’s he going to stay then?”  Harry asked, jumping to his feet.  He reached, taking hold of Draco’s shaking hand.  
“It’s all right, Draco.  I’m here.”

“Don’t leave me, Harry.  Please . . . please . . .”  Draco pleaded, grasping Harry’s hand tightly.

“He’ll be staying in my personal rooms.”  Snape said with a sneer.  “It would be best if he were to remain hidden for the time
being, until he can identify his attackers by sight.”

Harry bowed his head, sighing deeply.  Yes, it would be safer for Draco to remain hidden.  He understood that.  Still, he didn’t
like the idea of being separated from him.  “Yes, sir.”  He muttered, biting his lip to keep from arguing the fact, even though he
saw the wisdom in the decision.

“Well, come along then, Potter.  I don’t have all night.”  Snape said with a groan.

“What?”  Harry gasped, his eyes wide as he looked up.

Snape’s eyes narrowed.  “You don’t really expect me to waste my time taking care of him, do you?  I have no time for such
efforts.  I have a potion to brew that requires my complete attention.”

Harry couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across his face.  “Yes, sir!”  He chimed, easing his hand out of Draco’s grasp as
the Professor turned and walked away.  He couldn’t help but think that Snape was doing this to be kind.  Not to Harry of
course, but to Draco.

Bidding a good night to Hagrid, Ron and Hermione, Harry left Hagrid’s hut and followed Snape.

They descended into the dungeons of the castle, heading further down than Harry ever remembered going before.  Well, except
perhaps when he had been in the Chamber of Secrets.  But that had been under far different circumstances.

Professor Snape paused before a rather ugly gargoyle and pulled out his wand, shifting the majority of Draco’s weight to his
other arm.  Muttering something that Harry didn’t quite catch, he tapped his wand against the gargoyle’s nose.  In response,
the gargoyle seemed to shake its head, its beady eyes blinking before it spread its stone wings with a grating sound.  Then, the
statue slid aside, scraping across the stone floor to reveal a wide entranceway had been behind it.

Harry blinked, then shook his head.  Snape stepped through the doorway with Draco, bitterly telling Harry to hurry up.  Harry
didn’t waste a further moment.  He quickly walked in, hearing as the doorway closed behind him.

Biting his tongue to keep from gasping, Harry looked around the professor’s private rooms with widened eyes.  It was nothing
like he had expected.  True, it was dark and lacked a sense of warmth and comfort.  But it was still the man’s home.  And as
such, it reflected aspects of Snape that Harry had never thought to consider.  He had never really imagined Snape as having a
home to go to, though now it seemed ridiculous to have thought otherwise.

This front room had quite a number of chairs, all of them appearing to be comfortable.  Lanterns hung here and there, casting a
sparse amount of light upon the room.  But with a wave of Snape’s hand, they lit brighter, as if they had been waiting for him
to return home.  In all probability, he kept them at such a low level when he was not here.  Or perhaps when he was relaxing
after class.  Harry decided not to speculate on the matter.

His eyes trailed around the interior of the room, taking note of the shelves that lined the walls.  Hermione would have a blast in
here, he thought to himself, only to shake his head.  Hermione would probably never get to see any of these books.

A fireplace crackled with a low fire, but it was enough to warm the room.  There were even knickknacks littering the
mantlepiece.  A figurine of a lovely dancer seemed to have the best place, set directly in the center, surrounded by smaller, less
intricate pieces.  Harry idly wondered why that piece held such an honored place, but knew that he would not ask Snape about
it.

Harry’s attention was quickly drawn to the wall above the mantle.  There was a portrait there, the only portrait that he could
see in this room.  But it was covered by a silken curtain, the image there hidden from Harry’s sight.  Harry found himself
reaching up to the cloth, only to bring his hand back as if it had been bitten when the professor snapped at him.

“If you value keeping your hand, I suggest you touch nothing.”  He warned, glaring at Harry with pure malice.

“Yes, sir.”  Harry nodded, moving to follow Snape again.

He was led over to one of two doors that led from the room.  “This is the bedroom.  You will stay in here with Draco.  If you
must, I suppose you can borrow a book from my shelves, but do not take them from here.  If you need me for some reason . .
. and it better be a good reason, you can find me in my workroom.”  He said, gesturing with a nod of his head to the other
door.  “Knock before you enter and wait for my consent.”

Harry nodded.

“In the morning you will be expected to go to your classes.”  Snape stated, opening the bedroom door and carrying Draco
inside.  “You will take careful notes so that Draco will be able to make up the assignments he missed.”  He carefully set Draco
down on a rather large and quite comfortable-looking bed.

“Yes, sir.”  Harry said, moving to stand by the bed.  He let his eyes trail about the room, finding it fascinating that Snape kept
nothing in the way of personal mementos in here.  There was nothing more than a wardrobe . . . a chest at the end of the bed,
and a small desk.  It seemed this room was used for little except sleeping.

“Get some sleep.”  Snape ordered.  “If you find you need one, there are spare blankets in the chest.”  He said plainly, then
gestured to a narrow door next to the wardrobe.  “The bathroom is there.  I expect you to clean up after yourself.  I don’t
want to find my living quarters in shambles.  Leave it the way you found it.”

“Yes, sir.”  Harry said again, not able to think of anything more substantial to say.

With a grunt, Snape gave a single nod.  Then he left, his robes swirling behind him as he made a hasty exit.  He closed the door
behind himself, leaving Harry and Draco alone together.

Harry bit his lip, carefully easing himself to sit beside Draco’s still form.  “Draco?”  He asked with a whisper, running his
fingers along one bruised cheek.  To see his beloved injured in such a way left Harry hurting.  He had wanted to protect
Draco.  He had failed.  “I’m sorry.  I should have been with you.”

“N-Nonsense.”  Draco choked out.  “You had other places to be.  They were just waiting for an opportunity.  It would have
happened eventually.”  He turned his face toward the sound of Harry’s voice, his blank eyes staring through him.

Harry felt his heart drop into his stomach.  Draco was hurt and yet he was reassuring Harry.  It wasn’t right.  That should be
Harry’s job to do.  With a smile, Harry leaned forward, pressing a chaste kiss to his lover’s cheek.  “You better get some
sleep.”

Draco nodded, reaching blindly until he clasped Harry’s hand.  “Hold me?”

“Of course.”  Harry replied.

He stood, stripping off his robe, then his shirt and pants.  He left his clothes on the floor, not caring if they got all wrinkled.  
Then he carefully set about getting Draco into a similar state of undress.  That was easy, considering that Draco was only
wearing his boxers and a school robe.  Still, the sight of the harsh bruises on Draco’s pale body caused an ache to spread
through Harry’s entire being.

Harry paused as he regarded the crest on the robe, finding that it belonged to a Slytherin.  It must belong to Crabbe or Goyle.  
Harry thought back, trying to remember if Goyle had been wearing his robe.  He shook his head.  It didn’t really matter.  He
was just glad the two of them had helped Draco.

“Harry?”  Draco’s tired voice called, breaking Harry from his lingering thoughts.

“I’m right here.”  Harry grinned, climbing into bed beside Draco.  He reached to the foot of the bed, pulling the blankets up and
over the two of them.  He removed his glasses, stretching to set them on a small table by the bed.  Then he settled down,
wrapping his arms protectively around Draco’s shivering body.

Draco curled against him, laying his cheek against Harry’s chest.  “Love you.”  He murmured, his voice trailing off.

Harry smiled.  “Love you, too.”  He said, kissing the top of Draco’s head.

A soft snore was the only response his words received.  Harry sighed, laying his head down.  He trailed his hand down, letting
his palm linger against the slight bulge of Draco’s abdomen, his heart warmed at the mere thought that the child growing within
his lover was healthy.

That was a small consolation at least, not only for himself, but for Draco as well.  That small ray of hope that his child would
be born healthy and strong was the one thing that Harry clung to as he drifted to sleep.



To Be Continued . . .