Disclaimers:  I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters.  I am only borrowing them for the sole purpose of
entertainment and nothing else.  No money is being made from this.

Notes:  Harry is visited by Dumbledore.  A brief look into Draco’s life.

Sordidus Ars Magica
(Sordid Sorcery)

Part Seven

Harry fought a yawn as he finished his meal.  Sirius set the tray to the side, the empty plates set on top of it.  Harry hated the
fact that his medicine made him feel drowsy, but he knew that he needed the rest.  He smiled as Sirius helped him to lie down.  

“I hate missing classes,” he muttered.

Sirius nodded in understanding, his hand on Harry’s arm.  “I know.  No one will hold it against you, though.  You’ve been
through a lot.”

“Sirius is quite right, my dear boy,”  Professor Dumbledore said as he entered the room, followed by Ron, Hermione, and
Professor Trelawney.  “I know you are fatigued, and the draught given to you for your aches only enhances your need to
sleep, but please bear with us for a few moments.”

Professor Trelawney sighed over dramatically.  “I knew it!  I knew that tragedy would befall this poor boy!” she exclaimed.  “I
knew that . . .”

Sirius glared at her.  “Just stop it now!  He doesn’t need you moaning and groaning over his fate right now!”

Professor Trelawney closed her mouth, but didn’t look the least bit pleased about being talked to in such a manner.  She turned
her nose up, crossing her arms over her chest.  “To think, I leave my tower on Professor Dumbledore’s kind request, and I get
treated harshly by this ex-convict.”

“Now, now,  this is no time to start bickering.”  Dumbledore cut in.  “We have a matter to discuss with Mr. Potter and little
time to speak.  The poor boy is fighting slumber as it is.”  He turned his gaze back to Harry.  “I heard of your trouble in
Potions class.”  he said.  “And it is unfortunate.  With a case of claustrophobia, you will not be able to attend your classes with
Professor Trelawney.”

Harry’s eyes widened.  “I hadn’t thought of that,” he gasped, fearing that this would seriously affect his grade.

“Now, it is quite obvious that you cannot attend class.  But Professor Trelawney and I have come to an agreement . . . Ron
and Hermione as well.”  Professor Dumbledore said.  “Given Miss Granger’s impeccable grades, we have come to the idea that
she can get your work from Professor Trelawney with instructions and whatever else required to teach you the prescribed day’
s lesson, while Mr. Weasley will hand your homework and other assignments in to Professor Trelawney as you both share the
class.  Would you be willing to try this arrangement?”

“Yes, of course.”  Harry nodded.

Professor Trelawney smiled.  “I knew he would say that.  I really see no reason for my being here.  I could have just told you
what his answer would be.”  With that she turned and strode out of the room, presumably to return to her tower.

Professor Dumbledore sighed and shook his head.  He smiled at Harry.  “This will of course only be a temporary solution.  I’m
sure you will overcome this fear given time and we will be patient with you.  Take all the time you need to heal, Harry.  Don’t
rush yourself into anything.”

Harry smiled back, although tiredly.  “Thank you, Professor,” he said, yawning despite his attempt to stop it.

Dumbledore stepped closer.  He leaned over, setting his hand on Harry’s arm in a kind gesture of comfort.  “Get some rest
now, Harry.  I have the utmost confidence in your ability to regain your strength and health.”

Harry grinned.  He liked this.  Everyone was being so nice to him, encouraging him.  It was a vast difference from the
treatment he had been getting from the Dursleys.  Then it struck him.  He would never have to go back with those people
again.  Even though Sirius had assured him that he was safe time and again, it hadn’t really sunk in until now.  He was free,
finally free of their torment, of their hate and pressures.  He was finally free.

With a small smile present on his face, Harry closed his eyes, easily slipping into a restful slumber.  He idly felt a hand
removing his glasses, felt fingers gently brushing through his hair, but couldn’t be sure of who it was.  It was probably Sirius.  
He remembered other nights that Sirius had soothed him to sleep in a similar fashion.  

Harry sighed, allowing the contact to calm him.  He was weary, but at least now he had hope, hope for the future.  He would
recover.  He’d get healthy, body and mind and the Dursleys couldn’t stop him.  They couldn’t push him down or keep him
from anything ever again.  He’d never have to fear them or their harsh abuses.  

He was safe and happy, his godfather would see to it that he stayed that way.  He had friends to keep him company, to keep
him happy.  He knew that it would take time, that he wouldn’t get over everything right away.  But he had confidence in
himself, in his friends.  He would be fine, just fine.


Draco sat in a chair in the Slytherin Common Room.  He had done his duty, just as his father had ordered him to.  He always
did as he was told.  There was no other choice, no other way for him to behave.  He was just a tool to his father, to be used
come Christmas in a plan that he could not reject.  As a victim of the Imperius Curse, he had no say in anything.  He only
obeyed, his body not under his own control.

Draco merely watched from within his own mind as he sat there.  A moment later, Crabbe and Goyle approached him,
informing him that it was getting late.  Draco nodded, rising to his feet and following them to the dorm.  He was expected to
sleep when it was time to; there was no varying in what was expected of him.

Silently he strode to the dorm room.  He stripped himself of his school robes and garbed himself in pajamas, getting himself
into bed without uttering a word.  He closed his eyes, not fighting as sleep claimed him that night.

It was hours later when he opened his eyes.  He blinked, a breathless gasp escaping his lips as he sat upright in bed.  He
shivered, looking down at his hands, at his body.  He had moved on his own, had awakened on his own.  This had never
happened before.  For once, he was in control of his own body.  A smile quickly spread out over his face.  He was free from
the curse.  Still, he knew that this freedom might not last long.  So why not make the most of it?

Quietly, he slipped from bed and grabbed his dressing gown.  He tiptoed out of the room, just wanting to get away for as long
as he possibly could.  He had never been free to roam around on his own before, this would be a welcome change.

Draco left the Slytherin Dorm, just wanting to get away.  He had no particular destination in mind, only feeling a need to have a
break from the nightmare that he had been living.  His body was a prison to him most of the time.  All he had been able to do
for so long was just watch the happenings of everything around him, envying the people that could control themselves, wishing
that he could be like them.

He sighed, somehow finding himself in the Astronomy tower, although he didn’t recall heading this way.  He climbed up to the
top, sitting there and looking out at the stars.  They were beautiful, he thought, sighing as he surveyed the shimmering stars.

Draco took a seat, his body shivering even though it wasn’t cold.  He didn’t want to go back to being that zombie, to being
under his father’s control.  It wouldn’t be for much longer anyway though.  December would mark the end of his
imprisonment, and the beginning of yet another torture.  He shuddered violently, not wanting to think of that.  He had heard
what Lord Voldemort had in store for him and wanted no part in it.  But he had no choice.  His father had chosen for him, and
he wanted Draco to do this, despite the effects that it would have on his life, on everything.

He shook the painful thoughts from his mind, staring up at the sky.  He would just sit here and enjoy the scenery.  There was
no point in worrying over something he couldn’t change.  He only hoped that perhaps he would be saved from this, that maybe
somehow his suffering would come to an end.

To Be Continued . . .