Three Powerful Words

BY : Severus1snape
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Draco
Dragon prints: 2164
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling does. I do not make money from this story either.

This is a REPOST, after the lovely TheMightyFlynn has had her amazing beta hands on it! Love you for it! There will be 11 chapters. Enjoy!

 

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Pacing around the living room of number 12 Grimmauld Place was making him insane.

Sitting down was making him insane.

Standing still was making him insane.

Lying down was making him insane.

Breathing was making him insane.

Nothing he did could take away the pain he was feeling inside. The war had ended a month ago and people had died. His friends, his classmates, Order members, strangers, enemies; nobody had been safe from the killing curse.

They had buried Tonks and her husband Remus too, who had been one of his father´s closest friends. Their son Teddy was now to be raised by his grandmother. Harry was already playing a large role in Teddy´s life as his Godfather, a task he would forever cherish.

Fred had been laid to rest three weeks ago, and a sorrow had cast its love on his beloved adoptive family, the Weasleys.

They no longer seemed to be bursting with joy, a joy that had always seemed to keep even his worst mood at bay.

Dumbledore´s burial seemed so far away, a year to be exact.

Snape had also been put in the ground. Harry had paid for everything himself; it was how he had wanted it to be, after having watched those memories from his former professor many times. When he had finally shared his knowledge of the man nobody seemed to have known at all, he had been awarded the Order of Merlin, which was now resting safely on the mantelpiece beside Harry´s own here at Grimmauld Place.

Harry sighed, running his hands through his hair as he stopped to stare at the Orders. Not everyone had earned an Order of Merlin during the war. The Death Eaters had certainly not. In fact, they had almost all been hunted down and killed. The lucky ones who had been captured instead had now been sentenced to life in Azkaban.

The Ministry had decided to make examples of them all, to ´make sure nobody is drawn to the idea of starting another war.´ Harry agreed that people should be punished for what they had done during the war, but he did not like that people were thrown in prison to make an example to wizarding society altogether.

Today would be the last day of trials for the Death Eaters. Two days ago, Narcissa Malfoy had been sentenced to two years’ probation with the promise of her doing voluntary work in Muggle shelters. Everybody knew the Wizengamot had used this particular punishment because of the Malfoy´s hatred towards Muggles in general. They aimed to humiliate, and they succeeded. Harry had turned up and spoken a plea for her, reminding everyone, that she had, in fact, lied to Voldemort about him being dead. He had a feeling that this was why she did not have to go to prison and was glad he could return the favor some.

Lucius Malfoy had been sentenced to a lifetime in Azkaban the day before without the opportunity for any probation. Harry had not been present then. Lucius had gotten what he had deserved in Harry´s and many others´ opinions. And Lucius was a Death Eater to the core: a cold-blooded, delusional, greedy bastard above all. Harry had felt good once the headlines about it reached his doorstep this morning.

Harry couldn't cope with the fear and pain this situation was causing him. He needed an outlet, so he banged his fist against the mantelpiece several times until it started to bleed. He rested his head against the wall and breathed heavily. “Fuck.”

With his eyes closed and his mouth hanging slightly open, he mulled over his options. He knew he had a decision to make.

What if I go today they will all know my secret. The secret I only just came to realize the reality of myself last year in our sixth year at Hogwarts. What if they all hate me for it? My friends, my family. To hell with the public, I never did care what they thought about me anyway. What if he laughs at me for it? I already know he hates me, and would probably use this against me forever, but laughter would be too much. I care what he thinks; he always could get right under my skin when others could not.

Harry growled.

What if I tell them all my secret and they still throw him in Azkaban for the rest of his life? Then everyone would know, and if my friends turn away from me for knowing, I will be all alone. With him out of prison, at least I would have someone to torment me with his newly-found knowledge. Bad attention is better than none anyway, right?

Tears were sliding unnoticed down his cheeks.

If I tell him, it will have to be public. Nobody would believe me otherwise, and it cannot be shoved aside and forgotten if he is to be saved from the cold rock they call wizard´s prison. He´s already been there for a month, he must be lonely and cold and…

Harry straightened his back and cast a refreshing charm before leaving the house to go to the courtroom, in which he knew Draco Malfoy´s trial was to be held in half an hour.

                                                               *

“Is there someone present who wishes to speak in defense for Draco Lucius Malfoy?” The old wizard in charge of the Wizengamot asked while he glanced around. Nobody spoke and nobody moved an inch. “Very well, we -.”

“I will.” Someone in the way back said, loud and clearly making every head in the courtroom turn around. Even Draco, who had been sitting hunched over in the chair in the middle of the stone floor, looking even paler than usual turned to see who had spoken

“Mr. Potter, you may come forth to deliver your speech.”

Harry nodded. His friends and family, who had decided to be here, too, to witness the ´ferret´ get what he deserved, looked at him appalled at the idea that he, of all people, would speak up for this bastard.

Harry took his place in front of the chairman, standing where he had stood when he had defended Narcissa Malfoy. Draco would have to turn sideways in order to watch Harry, but he didn´t, which suited Harry just fine.

He cleared his throat nervously, keeping his eyes upon the chairman only, having used that method two days prior also to calm his nerves, to make sure that nobody could change his mind about speaking up. He could not take the looks he would receive from those who knew him.

“Draco Malfoy first reached out the hand of friendship the day before our first year at Hogwarts, when we met at Madam Malkin´s robes for all occasions. I was a lonely, miserable boy, who had never known friendship, and who had been bullied my entire life by my own family. And Draco seemed like just another bully to me when he went on and on about the purity of blood. So, naturally, I declined any sort of friendship he was offering to me.”

He blinked when the confused murmurs took over the courtroom and the chairman had to silence them.

“Again, he tried to befriend me when we arrived at Hogwarts, but unfortunately for him, he did so while ridiculing my first friend, whom I met on the train; Ronald Weasley.”

The whispers were there again but subsided again on their own.

“During the following years, he tried many times to get my attention, and while we were both still in school I always thought it was his Malfoy pride talking. I didn´t realize that he had been embarrassed in public so he would revenge that by tormenting my friends and I. It was not until last year I realized that maybe it was because he still wanted to be my friend. Of course, I thought I knew that he only wanted my friendship because he might get into the spotlight created by Voldemort when he first tried to murder me.”

The gasps of hearing the name spoken were vivid.

“It is a fame I never asked for, nor liked at any time, regardless of what anyone else believes. It is to me a mere nuisance to be followed around by reporters trying to ask me how I prefer to take a dump.”

Numerous people laughed at this.

“Which is, of course, ridiculous since I, too, use a loo.”

More laughter.

“In our sixth year, I discovered by accident that Draco Malfoy was a Death Eater, and even my friends believed that I was delusional at first. So, I decided to follow him around everywhere he went. I did that for an entire year.”

Malfoy met his eyes for the first time. Harry swallowed, not knowing what the other was thinking.

“I also had been the opportunity that others did not have. I could look into the mind of Voldemort himself.”

The chairman once more had to ask for silence in the courtroom.

“I saw many things through his eyes. Things and actions that changed my mind about many people during that year. I saw brave people not giving in while Voldemort tortured them, and eventually killed them because he found them useless. I saw cowards turning their own family in to survive themselves. I saw Death Eaters, who did his bidding. I felt what they felt as they did what he told them to.”

Harry took a deep breath as he looked at Draco Malfoy again.

“Draco Malfoy was forced into doing things. Things nobody could ever come close to comprehending when they have never had Voldemort living under their roof. When they have never had an insane father-figure who worshiped Voldemort - a man who pushed proudly to make his only son like him. They would never know the feeling of constant fear, of pressure to perform and to wear the perfect mask covering up just how you really feel. They would never know what is it to be lonely and afraid.”

He paused.

“I had a terrible childhood, yes. I was starved, beaten, ridiculed, but mostly I was left to myself. I, too, was lonely for many years, but I once I entered Hogwarts I had friends everywhere. People who wanted to know me, to do things for me, and to act on my behalf, merely because I was famous. True, I found real friends too, and I didn´t need money or threats to achieve that. They wanted me for me, the real me, not the famous me, - and for that I am grateful.”

Another pause.

“Draco Malfoy never had that same chance. He was taught from the time he was an infant to threaten or blackmail his way around getting the things he wanted. People became his friends because of bloodlines, money, and duty. He never knew who he could trust. And if he did decide to trust someone with things, he would be seen as a weakling, because Malfoys do not share emotions. Purebloods do not share emotions. The only purebloods who have been different were the Gryffindor ones, really. But even they were not raised the same way. They were raised with love, to love. The only exception I can think of was my Godfather, Sirius Black, but he had the best friends in the world at Hogwarts, so he overcame his families´ ways. When it got too much, he fled his home and was welcomed into my own father´s home. He had an escape. Draco Malfoy never did.”

His palms were sweating.

“He was surrounded by hate and traditions which were not up for discussion. He had no siblings, no friends, and no allies. Could he really have turned out any different? I am not so sure he could. I pity him in fact.”

Draco´s eyes flew to his.

“For anything, I may have some blame in that matter. I am the one he reached out to on more than one occasion. He tried to become my friend, to find his way out, and I wouldn´t let him. All because I was too hurt myself, too angry to see the truth - and too selfish.”

He bowed his head.

“If I were given another chance I would not have turned him down. I would have tried to make it work. I am not trying to make excuses for him, not at all. I am merely trying to paint the right picture of a man who simply did not have many chances to be any different. Just like I didn´t have any choice but to be ´the-boy-who-lived.´”

He nodded to the chairman and waited, knowing he would have questions for him.

“Mr. Potter, this is a most impressive speech and one I would not have expected from you. We already know that you have stated in a written report that Mr. Malfoy saved your life when you were captured at the Mansion, but why did you turn up here, too?”

Harry hesitated before looking up again.

“Because throughout the last year I have gotten to know the real Draco Malfoy, both by following him around, but also through Voldemort´s mind. I have come to see that he is not only a stubborn, proud, arrogant bastard... well, I will not deny that he is all of those things.”

Laughter spread.

“But he is also so much more than that.”

“Like what?” The older man inquired.

Harry sucked in a breath.

“He is compassionate; I saw him saving people last year and then Obliviating them so they could not remember it. That is not very Slytherin of him any Slytherin would want to gloat. He is brave; I witnessed his refusal to do Voldemort´s bidding more than once earning himself a round of torture. He is smart; who else would figure out a way to sneak in the Death Eaters even though that act itself does speak against him. He is someone I should not have turned down any form of friendship with. During the past year, I must admit that he has grown on me. I no longer hate him, which I think I never really did in the first place.”

Harry felt pleased with himself once he was done and he was about to stand down when the last question rang in his ears, the one he had dreaded and avoided.

“Mr. Potter, how do you feel about Mr. Malfoy now then?”

“I-I… don´t… I… that it…”

“Mr. Potter, need I remind you that you are under oath of this courtroom to speak the truth?”

“No, sir.” Harry flushed heavily, even though that might have been caused by the heat of the July temperatures, but Harry knew the truth and in a moment so would they.

“I love him.”

The shock wave Harry had been expecting came rising over him. People were shouting some angry, some not. He caught some of his friends´ eyes, and the look of horror written in them made his stomach turn over.

“You may step down Mr. Potter. Mr. Malfoy, if you have any last words before we retire to decide on your penalty, this is it."

Harry walked to the front of the lines of chairs, no longer trusting his own legs to carry him to the back again. The empty chair seemed to swallow him whole, and he thought he would die until he met Malfoy´s eyes.

Malfoy was breathing hard judging from the numerous times his chest moved up and down. For the first time ever, Malfoy let down his mask in the eyes of the public. He didn´t seem to notice the tears falling down his pale cheeks. If he had, he would have shielded them, obviously. “Yes. Mr. chairman.”

Harry felt as though Malfoy's eyes kept his locked to them. Even though it nearly killed him to keep them locked on him, he would do it; he had no choice.

“I love you too, Harry.”

Harry closed his eyes, letting his own fears wash away, no longer caring what the rest of the world were shouting at him for speaking those words to a Death Eater. All he cared about was hearing those three words from the lips of the man he had fallen in love with over the past year.

 

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Let me know what you think ;-) Next chapter, next week.



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