Author: Jilly James
Fandom: Harry Potter
Relationship(s): Harry/Draco, many, many other M/M, F/F and M/F
Content Rating: MA
Warnings: Adult language and themes, canon-level violence, explicit sexual situations,
Disclaimer: Recognizable characters are the property of their respective owners. I own nothing and make no money, I’m just taking them out for a walk.
Special Thanks: To fanarts_series for producing another marvelous banner for this story.
Summary: During fourth year, Harry comes into his magical gift as a Seer and sees the destruction of magic after they’re discovered by Muggles. With Draco’s help, Harry sees a way to prevent the destruction of Magic, but the cost to him personally will be beyond anything he can imagine.
The Last Seer
Coming Soon – Summary:
During fourth year, Harry comes into his magical gift as a Seer. He’s taken to the Hall of Seers to train in the hopes that with his guidance, the magical world can be saved. The problem is he can’t seem to find a path where the outcome is anything other than total devastation for the magical world.
As Harry’s soul mate, Draco is expected to stay with Harry for the duration of his training. And it’s only with Draco’s help that Harry will be able to See the way to save Magic.
Epic-level world building… which means total canon fuckery. Also there will be references to ritual-based ‘pregnancy.’ I’m not going to add an mpreg warning, since there’s no babies inside bodies, but there will be kids with two daddies. Because… magic.
Also, I use the terms ascended/ascension in this story, but it has nothing to do with Stargate. No crossovers lie within.
Yes, I’m aware that I changed Draco’s canon birthday. I have reasons for it. We’ll all survive.
One more note… This story has a very sassy house elf who is clearly the cousin of Clumsy from Pendragon Rising. I blame Cinna. I named my elf after the wonderful Desertpoet, the niece of my heart.
eBooks: MOBI | ePub | PDF
The Last Seer Rough Draft
unbeta’d (not even proofread) This is what was posted to Rough Trade in November 2014.
The Last Seer (Prequel to Visionary)
– – – –
“Mr. Malfoy?” a deep voice intruded into Draco’s sleep. “Mr. Malfoy? It’s time to wake. We have much to discuss.”
The unfamiliar deep tone of voice instantly filled Draco with alarm and his eyes popped open to find a strange man leaning over him. He instantly processed that he was lying in an unfamiliar bed, in a room he most certainly had not been in when he’d retired for the night.
“AHH!” He jerked back, flailing as he rolled off the opposite side of the mattress and landed sprawled on the floor.
“Oh dear,” the stranger murmured. “There’s really no need to be alarmed.”
Draco quickly righted himself and hesitantly peered over the edge of the mattress, his heart racing. The man was tall, seemed to be near his father’s age, attractive, with dark hair and a look of consternation on his face. “Who are you? Where am I?” Fear began to give way to a sense of indignation. “By what right have you taken me from Hogwarts? When my father hears about this-”
“Master Malfoy, I assure you that your father will hear about this, though not in the immediate future. As for who I am, my name is Adair Hufflepuff. Where you are is a bit of a convoluted tale. If you’d care to dress and join me in the sitting room, I shall endeavor to explain.”
Realizing he was gaping like a commoner, Draco snapped his mouth shut with an audible clack, trying to get his thoughts together. “How can you possibly be named Hufflepuff? There are no Hufflepuffs any longer. Is this some kind of prank? Why have you brought me here?”
The man just gave a faint smile. “As soon as you’re presentable, feel free to join me.” With that, he sketched a quick half bow, turned on his heel and left the room.
Belatedly, Draco called out, “Hey! Where’s my wand?” The click of the door closing was the only answer.
Scrambling to his feet, Draco kicked the bed in frustration, then winced in pain. Despite feeling overwhelmed and a bit frightened, Draco felt oddly light and refreshed. It really made no sense. Shaking off the oddness, he glanced about curiously. The room was large and well-appointed, with light décor and a general feeling of airiness. Odd considering the drapes were tightly closed.
After looking around carefully, Draco finally muttered, “Get dressed in what?”
A pop heralded the arrival of a female house elf wearing a little blue dress and carrying a bundle of clothes. “Poet be bringing Master Dragon clothes.” She held them out and when he didn’t take them immediately, she began to tap her foot in impatience.
Draco’s brows shot up at her general manner. “Poet, is it?” At her nod, he added, “I need you to get me my wand.”
“Why? Master Dragon cannot be using his magic yet.”
Not sure how to respond to that, Draco simply replied, “Well, a wizard should always keep his wand with him.”
Poet shook her head. “Poet no be letting Master Dragon blow up his room. Poet just clean this room!”
“I wouldn’t blow up the room!”
With a snort, Poet responded, “Master Dragon touched by Magic. Stupid to touch wand. Does Master Dragon want to stay in his pajamas?”
“What? No,” Draco said somewhat indignantly. “But those are not my clothes!”
The house elf scowled at him. “Poet make. Master Dragon no wear, then Master Dragon go naked.”
Not at all accustomed to being scolded by a house elf, Draco nearly snapped at the little thing, but then thought better of it, worried she’d actually leave him naked. He quickly took the clothes.
Attempting to regain his equilibrium, he lifted his chin made a vaguely dismissive gesture. “You may go.”
Poet glared at him. “Master Dragon be saying ‘thank you.’” When Draco simply gaped in astonishment, Poet added, “if Master Dragon no appreciate clothes, Poet be taking them back!”
Clutching the clothing to his chest, Draco exclaimed, “No! Uh, thank you. Thank you!”
The house elf nodded sharply and popped away, leaving Draco feeling completely off kilter.
A quarter hour later, he joined the man claiming to be a Hufflepuff in the sitting room where there was a full tea service on the table.
“Why have you brought me here?” Draco demanded, refusing to take a seat.
Adair leaned back in the settee and calmly replied, “I didn’t bring you here.”
“If not you, then who?”
“Magic brought you.”
Draco rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes, whoever brought me used magic, but who would that be?”
“You misunderstand me. Magic brought you here. Our Mother… our Lady. That which created witches and wizards. She brought you here.”
Knees feeling wobbly, Draco sat in the nearest chair. “What?” he asked weakly. “I… I can’t believe that.”
Adair held up a hand before Draco could say anything else. “I know you don’t believe me, and I know you’re going to have questions, but I have much to tell you and many of your questions will be addressed in the telling of it. In regards to having been touched by Magic herself, if you’ll look and be honest with yourself, you know that you feel different. You feel clean and whole in a way you never have before. That is her touch. And it’s also why we have your wand locked away. After the raw touch of our Lady, your magic needs to settle before you attempt anything magical.”
Draco just stared, teeth clenched, not wanting to admit to Adair being correct about how he felt, because he refused to believe that Magic was involved in this.
“Tell me what you know of Seers,” Adair said suddenly.
Frowning at the seeming non-sequitur, Draco scoffed. “Utter rubbish.”
Adair shook his head. “I don’t mean the vessels a Seer uses to pass on their visions to the mortal plane, I mean true Seers.”
Draco felt a frisson of dread. “Myth. Or they’ve become myth. There hasn’t been a confirmed Seer in hundreds of years, if not longer.”
With a nod of acknowledgment, Adair explained, “Magic herself granted the magical world ten Seers throughout all time, those with the ability to see the entirety of our past, our present and an infinite number of futures. There would be no more than ten. Each Seer lives their life, attempts to guide, and at the time of their choosing, ascends to the plane of pure magic where they pass their visions on to their chosen vessels. My wife, Helga, was the eighth Seer. The ninth only attempted to guide the magical world for eight years before she decided they were hopeless and left. The tenth came into his gift yesterday. He is the last true Seer, and is the final chance, the only hope, for the magical world has to save itself.”
Brows shooting up, Draco blurted out, “What do you mean by ‘save itself?’”
Adair pulled a vial out of his pocket. It contained something white and shimmery.
“What is it?”
“It’s the memory of a Seer’s vision. As you know, an extracted memory is silver. A memory of a Seer’s vision of the future is always white. A memory of a Seer’s vision of the past will be blue. Helga prepared this vision for you, so that you may understand what the magical world will face.”
Draco blinked a few times, not sure what to say and settled on, “Helga Hufflepuff? One of the founders of Hogwarts?”
Smiling, Adair gestured to a table holding a large marble pensieve. “If you’d be so kind as to view this, it will establish a basis for further discussion.
A couple hours later, Draco stumbled away from the pensieve, overcome and fighting the urge vomit. He collapsed to his knees and struggled to breathe. A warm solid hand gently touched his back, then helped him to his feet, guiding him back to the chair.
He buried his head in his hands, trying to come to terms with what he’d seen. “We’re going to die. All of us. The muggles will find us, and kill us.” And do other horrible thing to anyone suspected of being magical. “It’s going to be another witch hunt.”
“I know,” Adair murmured softly.
Draco looked up at the older man, eyes wet and unable to don any sort of mask. “Is this certain? Can we stop it?”
“With your help, and the help of others, it’s possible to craft a new future. To avert this disaster.”
“But how can I possibly help?” he asked despairingly. “I’ll be fifteen in a week… how can a teenager help avert that?”
“Many have tried very hard to bury the knowledge of what I’m about to tell you. And you may not believe me at first, but I beg you to think on it before you dismiss it out of hand.”
Draco sat on the steps leading down to the back garden and contemplated everything he’d learned. The grounds around the Hall of the Seers were expansive, but beyond that was an odd swirling mist-type-thing through which nothing could be seen. It reminded him of clouds in the way it was shaped and moved, but in addition to the white there was blue and coral and a myriad of colors that reminded him of sunset. Adair said it was the presence of magic here on this ascended plane. The plane of existence where Seers lived out eternity.
But not just Seers. No, they brought their soulmates with them.
Magic had created a soulmate for every magical creature, and the wizarding world had hidden the information and abandoned the will of Magic. Defying the will of Magic and refusing their soulmates had directly led to the situation they’d be facing with the muggle world.
And Draco was the soulmate of the last Seer. He wasn’t sure what it was exactly he was supposed to do, and Adair was vague on the subject, but apparently soulmates were a ‘great boon’ to their bonded Seer.
He rubbed his hand over face, trying to get his thoughts in order. This all seemed too big for him. Draco had always had great aspirations, as a Malfoy nothing else was possible, but this seemed too much and too soon and he wasn’t sure he was ready for the fate of the Wizarding World to rest even partially on his shoulders.
“Master Dragon be having tea.” So wrapped up in his thoughts, he’d missed the soft pop heralding Poet’s arrival. She was standing in front of him, holding out a teacup.
He blinked at her a few times, then took the cup. At her vexed look, he quickly added, “Thank you, Poet. Tea would be a welcome distraction.” He had a feeling he did not want to be on the bad side of this particular elf. Just as it seemed like she was going to pop away, he quickly asked, “How long have you lived here?”
Suddenly she smiled brightly and plopped down next to him, fussily arranging her dress before a tiny cup of tea popped into her hand. “Poet be coming here with Lady Helga and Lord Adair.”
“That’s… a long time. Do you like it?” If Adair was telling him the truth, he’d be living here some day and it was easier to deal with curiosity about his current environment than the reality of his future.
She gave him an inscrutable look before replying, “Sometimes very boring.”
Draco was surprised into a snort of laughter, which he was instantly horrified about. He had just laughed at something a house elf said.
Poet smirked. “Being so close to Mother Magic is reward enough for any elf.” She gave him another sideways look. “Or for any wizard.”
Not sure what to do with that, Draco just inclined his head and sipped his tea. Surprisingly, he spent a companionable half hour having tea with a house elf. Just as she vanished the cups and seemed set to pop away, he found himself asking, “My… soulmate, um, he’s well?”
Expression revealing nothing, she baldly replied, “He be tormented by his visions. He must learn to control them, not they control him. Master Dragon must grow up quickly if he’s to help his mate.”
Draco blinked in surprise, feeling a sense of indignation stirring in his chest.
“Magic gives you great honor, but maybe too much for teen Dragon. Magic not always fair, but never more than can be borne. Master Dragon must decide if he be willing to do what our Mother ask of him.” With a firm nod, she popped away.
And what exactly was he supposed to do with that?
With a sigh, Draco returned inside. He’d yet to see anyone but Poet and Adair, though supposedly all the former Seers and their soulmates lived there. Plus house elves and he had the sense that there were others as well.
He entered the library Adair had pointed out earlier and found the room occupied by a lovely woman with long curly red hair and bright blue eyes.
“I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to disturb you, Miss…?”
She got to her feet and extended her hand. “Helga Hufflepuff.”
He blinked in surprise but reflexively bowed over her hand. “It’s an honor to meet you, Your Grace.” That was one thing he’d learned, a true Seer was always addressed as ‘Your Grace.’
Smiling, she took a seat and gestured for him to sit. “You’re part of the family, please call me Helga.”
Sitting rigidly in his chair, and feeling incredibly nervous, he said the first thing that popped into his mind. “You don’t look anything like your portrait.”
“The Hogwarts portraits were commissioned when I was physically quite a bit older.”
“Adair mentioned that you chose to ascend when you were 142, how is it that you appear so young?”
With a chuckle, she replied, “Once you ascend you’ll always be at the peak of your physical life.”
“How does this place affect me while I’m here? Adair said we’d return very shortly after Magic brought us here no matter how long we stay.”
“You’ll age because you’re tied to a physical form, but time moves differently while you’re here. Magic has created a time dilation bubble. For every year that passes here, one hour will pass in the mortal realm.”
“I’ve never heard of time dilation fields of such extremes. How is that possible?”
“You are in the realm of our Lady of Magic.”
He thought on that for a few moments, wondering how much he’d have to adjust and reassess everything he thought he knew. “How long will we be here?”
“Probably years,” she replied gently.
“Years?” he managed on a choked whisper. “How will that work? How will we–”
She held up a hand. “Everything will be explained in time. Everything will be all right, and it’s not necessary to understand every aspect on your first day in the Hall. The reason I sought you out was to discuss your soulmate.”
Draco leaned forward, feeling a renewal of his nerves. “Will you tell me who he is? Adair hedged every time I asked, and, well, I could get no answers from Poet.”
Helga’s lips twitched in amusement before she got to her feet and gestured to one of the tables with an object covered in a white cloth. “I wanted to discuss your soulmate with you and asked Adair to keep the identity secret until you’d seen the vision and had some time to think.” She pulled the white cover away, revealing a large glass or crystal orb. It somewhat larger than a human head and had the same swirling combination of blue white and coral as he’d seen around the perimeter of the property.
“What is it?”
With a slightly sad smile, she sat behind the object and trailed her fingers over it. “A very precious gift from our Lady. It is the way we find out who Magic has chosen for us. It belongs in the mortal realm for wizarding kind to use to find their destined mate, but wizards sought to destroy it in my time, so I brought it here. It was clear they had completely turned their back on the notion of a destined mate. One of the many tasks for you and your Seer will be to return this to the wizarding world and see the soulmates reunited.”
Helga gave him a searching look. “You are young, Draco, and this will not be easy for you. If Magic could have given you a few more years to mature, that would have been ideal. But in a few years, events will have unfolded in such a way that nothing could stop the inevitable slide to destruction. So much will be asked of you much sooner than you will be ready. But you will have time here to learn what you need, and to truly know your mate.”
She gestured to the orb. “When the soul orb is touched, if the person has a soulmate living, the name will appear in white. If the soulmate is deceased, the name will appear in red. If the soulmate is not yet born, the name will appear in blue. A rare few will have no soulmate. In the case of death, or lack of soulmate, a name, or names, in black will appear. Those are the people Lady Magic has decreed are compatible for producing strong magical progeny.
“If a soulmate’s name appears in the orb, that name will flow from the orb and appear on the forearm of the person who touched the orb, and they will carry their soulmate’s name with them always. The orb will also display the names of parents to clarify identity.”
Draco absorbed the influx of information, though he knew it wasn’t the point. He knew exactly what was coming and wasn’t sure if he was ready for this.
She gave him a few minutes before she stepped back. “The first step you must take willingly. If you’re ready to know his identity and begin to take up the destiny Magic has for you, touch the orb.”
Several minutes passed in silence, and several times Draco almost turned away. He wasn’t sure he was capable of what was being asked of him, because saving Magic seemed an impossible task. But he thought of the horrible things he’d seen in that vision. Of wizards and witches dying and the end of Magic, the destruction of everything he valued. If there was anything he could do to prevent that, he had to try. Even if he felt completely inadequate to the task.
Silencing his self-doubt and taking a deep breath, Draco straightened his posture and reached out to touch the orb.
The swirling colors shimmered and then a name appeared in glowing white letters. Harrison James Potter.
He felt the air rush out of him like he’d been punched. In a daze, he watched the words move off the orb and slide over his hand and up under his sleeve. Without thought, he pushed up his sleeve and watched the letters settle into his skin, turning to silver as if he’d been tattooed.
Harry Potter was the last Seer.
Harry Potter was Draco Malfoy’s soulmate.
Merlin help the rest of the world.
“Master Dragon be pouting.”
Draco glanced up from where he’d been reading the same paragraph for an hour and glared at Poet. “I am not pouting.”
Poet hopped up on the table so they were closer to eye level and returned the glare. “Master Dragon be feeling sorry for himself instead of helping his soulmate. Master Harry suffers and his Dragon be pouting.”
Draco slammed the book shut. “Everything is all about Potter! And what exactly am I supposed to do for him? No one will tell me what’s expected of me. I’m supposed to help save the world… how? By holding Potter’s hand?” he scoffed.
Eyes narrowing in anger, Poet pointed her finger at Drago. “The Great Mother has made you perfect for each other. Is a great gift! You could be helping, but you have to try! Master Dragon… grow up!” With the last, the aggravated little thing popped away.
Slumping back in his chair, Draco took a deep breath and fought back feeling completely inadequate.
“You can take time to come to terms, Draco. It’s only been a few days,” Adair offered softly as he came into the library and took a seat. “You don’t have an eternity to decide, but you do you have some time.”
Draco fiddled with his book, thoughts racing. “Does he know? About me… and the soulmate thing?”
Hesitantly, Draco asked, “And what does he think about it, about me?”
“He didn’t really say. It’s not his primary concern. You have to understand that it takes a lot of time and training for a Seer to fully control their visions. In order for him to get a few hours of restful sleep, Helga must hold the visions back, and even then, his memories of what he’s seen plague him and keep him from true rest.”
Staring at his hands, Draco felt a spike of unease. He knew exactly how those images could interfere with sleep. “And how exactly am I supposed to help him?”
“Helga would prefer for you to come to that in your own time. Forcing yourself when you’re angry and resentful is going to make the situation worse. Harry will just push you away. You must understand that he has no room in his life right now for your past conflicts. He cannot afford to indulge in childish rivalries.”
Draco gritted his teeth. “So Potter does it better yet again.”
“You’re missing the point!” Adair snapped.
“And what is the point?” Draco bit back.
“Harry is not ahead of you in this! He’s behind. You’re sorting yourself out and coming to terms with being his soulmate. He’s trying to get through moment to moment. He won’t even begin to be able to assimilate that information into his life until he’s no longer a slave to his visions.
“It’s important for you to make these steps first because Harry cannot. You have to bring the two of you together. It’s up to you to handle the soulmate aspect, at least, for now. To be brutally honest, Seers are impossible at managing anything until they learn to control their visions. But emotional upheaval just makes things worse for them. You need to set the emotional tone for the two of you going forward. That’s why Helga and I are not pressing you to help Harry right away. That would do more harm than good with your state of mind.”
Whether rightly or not, Draco felt like he was somehow in the wrong for not rushing off to help Potter. Even though no one would tell him how he could possibly help. “How am I supposed to help him? Why won’t anyone tell me that one thing?”
Adair sighed. “Because you can only truly give him something that comes from you willingly. If I tell you what to do, you might resent it.” Looking thoughtful, Adair finally relented a little. “One part I can tell you is that one of the things Harry has to do, once he learns control, is begin envisioning changes to see what will lead to the outcome he desires. This is arduous and taxing, and it’s easy to lose perspective. He needs to share his burden with someone, he needs a partner. Magic has deemed that person to be you, Draco Malfoy. But you have to be ready and willing.”
“And if I never am?” Draco hedged.
Adair glanced away before replying. “I have faith that Lady Magic has chosen the right person to stand by her last Seer and walk the path with him.” With that, he got to his feet and left the library, leaving Draco to his tumultuous thoughts. He closeted himself in his room where he would hopefully have a respite from anyone, be they patient and understanding or utterly annoyed.
A few hours later, Draco’s thoughts were no clearer as he entered the dining room to find only Helga seated for dinner. He took his seat after greeting her, then asked, “Will Adair be joining us?”
Helga shook her head. “He’s sitting with Harry this evening. It will just be the two of us tonight.”
Before Draco could say anything, Poet popped in with the first course, pointedly ignoring Draco. He was surprised at how much the disapproval from the sassy elf stung.
After Poet popped away, Helga offered, “Poet’s soulmate died very shortly after they met, and in a time when soulmates were not terribly valued by wizards, especially in their house elves. She sees soulmates as the greatest of gifts, and it’s hard for her to understand why you would wish to be away from yours. Please do not let her frustration upset you.”
Draco abruptly lost interest in his soup. “It’s a lot to change. The day before I was brought here, Potter’s name came out of the Goblet of Fire and I went to sleep thinking of ways to…” he trailed off, hesitant to even say the childishness out loud.
“I realize it’s a lot to absorb, Draco, and that’s why I’m not pressing you to make a decision.” Helga took a sip of her wine, giving Draco a thoughtful look. “You do realize that he didn’t put his name in the cup?”
Draco had to consider that for a moment. In truth, he’d have been surprised if Potter had put his name in. For all that Potter drew a lot of attention, he never seemed to actually like the attention. Instead of answering her question, he asked, “Who wanted him in the tournament?”
Mouth suddenly feeling dry, Draco could only stare. As much as Draco espoused pureblood ideals, he was very much afraid of the Dark Lord. “He’s alive?”
“In a manner of speaking, yes, he’s alive and very much fixated on Harry. But that is a discussion you should have with Harry when you and he are ready for it.”
Draco hesitated for several seconds, but decided to finally ask the painful question that had been festering in his mind since he’d touched the orb. “What if I… well, what if he decides he doesn’t want anything to do with me?”
“That won’t happen, Draco.”
He looked at her sharply. “You know that?”
“With a Seer’s certainly, you mean?”
“No. We cannot see what will happen in the future here in the Hall. But I’ve seen soulmate relationship more contentious than yours, and once you two stop actively baiting the other, the draw to be together will be paramount for both of you. Soulmate bonds don’t respond well to rejection, whether real or perceived. I believe, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ve always wanted to be closer to Harry, but pride has kept you from admitting that. And if it’s true for you, I can assure you that it’s true for him.”
Draco had no concept of how he should respond to that, and at his continued silence, Helga gracefully changed the subject.
Late in the evening, when Draco should have been preparing for bed, he instead was considering everything that he’d learned over the last few days. He was rarely inclined to periods of such deep introspection, but he’d had nothing to do but think, and could admit to himself that the biggest stumbling block for him was his fear that Potter would turn him away. Draco had little interest in their ongoing rivalry, and he could now admit that much of it had been to keep Potter’s attention fixed on Draco.
Before he could change his mind again, he called out, “Poet?” A moment later, the house elf popped into his room, but before she could say anything, Draco said, “I’d like to see Potter. Preferably tonight.”
Poet fixed him with an assessing gaze, then nodded. “Poet be fetching Lady Helga. Master Dragon wait in his sitting room.”
When Helga arrived, she seemed ready to ask questions, but Draco just held up a hand. “I need to talk to him, and I don’t want to think about it any more.”
It was only a matter of a few minutes before he was standing in front of a door in a part of the Hall he had not previously seen.
Helga laid a hand on his arm. “This is the study in Harry’s suite. He seems most comfortable in this room and spends time here every night before he attempts sleep.” With that, she stepped away and left Draco alone with his thoughts and his nerves.
Draco took a deep breath, reminding himself that he had to put everything in the past behind him, tried to settle his nerves, and opened the door. At first, he didn’t see Potter, the room seemed empty, but he surprisingly felt a pull at his magic and it led him deeper into the room where he found the Seer sitting on the floor, propped up against a wall, eyes closed.
The other teen looked like utter shite. He was pale and had dark rings around his eyes and his whole posture seemed to radiate exhaustion. Part of Draco, the part that always acted badly around Potter, immediately supplied a snide comment, but Draco bit back the reflexive response.
“I don’t want to fight with you, Malfoy,” Potter said, eyes still closed.
Draco stepped a little closer. “I didn’t come here to fight with you.”
Potter’s eyes opened and Draco was taken aback by the pain and sheer defeat that radiated from the unusually dull green eyes. “Then why are you here?” He rather belatedly noticed that Potter wasn’t wearing his customary glasses.
“I’d like to start over.” Forcing down his nerves, Draco stepped forward and extended his hand. “Draco Malfoy. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I know you’ve been asked to carry a great burden and I’d like to help you in any way I can.”
Potter blinked a few times and straightened up a little, eyes carefully searching. A few moments passed, and Draco had started to feel foolish, when Potter finally reached out. “Harry Potter. I’m glad we’ve—Oh!” The minute their hands touched, Potter seemed to freeze, grip tightening, eyes fixed on the point where they touched.
“What’s wrong?” Draco asked urgently, not sure if he should try to pull away or just wait to see what happened.
“I…” Potter trailed off, hand tightening around Draco’s just a bit more. “As soon as we, um, touched, I stopped having to fight off the visions.” Potter bit his lip before continuing. “Helga said, but I didn’t really understand.” The hand that was so tight on Draco’s suddenly loosened, and Potter tried to pull away. “Sorry… sorry.”
Draco could tell that the Seer didn’t want to lose contact. “I’m not sure we’re ready for hand holding, Potter, but perhaps this will work.” He sat next to Potter, aiding him in propping up the wall, arms touching. “Good?”
Looking a little stunned, Potter finally managed, “Yeah. That works. But…” he hesitated, clearly uncertain.
“Yes?” Draco prompted, feeling his own nerves settle in the face of Potter having the same exact struggle.
Potter turned a bit so they could make solid eye contact, but clearly making sure their arms remained touching. “If we’re really going to start over, I’d like you to call me Harry.”
Inclining his head in agreement, Draco responded, “If you’ll call me by my given name as well.”
Lips twitching in apparent amusement, Harry nodded, then turned his attention back to the room. Silence reigned, and Draco wasn’t sure what to say. The peace between them was fragile and every conversational gambit that crossed his mind seemed awkward at best, and completely inappropriate at worst.
Harry picked at his jeans, and seemed to also be floundering for something to say. After several painfully long minutes, Harry seemed to brighten and he turned to Draco. “Hey, Mal-uh, Draco, guess how many houses there originally were at Hogwarts.”
Draco was a little surprised, but the history of Hogwarts was probably safe conversation. Contemporary Hogwarts might be problematic, but this should be okay. “That you even asked the question leads me to believe the answer is not four?”
Shaking his head, Harry smirked a little. “Nope. Five.”
“Five? There was a fifth founder? How could that not be known?”
The light in Harry seemed to dim a little and he shook his head. “Just four founders. But the school was so different then. It actually made sense.”
“And it doesn’t now?”
“No! It’s almost like the school is specially crafted to perpetuate the problems the wizarding world has. I mean, what sense does it make to group children by personality trait? It just encourages that trait to become more dominant and then there’s no balance!”
“So, how was it originally?” Draco asked, legitimately curious.
Harry relaxed again. “The purpose of the houses was different. There was a sorting on the first night, but most people were sorted into the Common House and grouped in dorms by year. The four founders’ houses were for career training and mentoring. Each house mentored different skills.”
Draco couldn’t contain his surprise. “Really? Wow. How did that turn into what we have now?”
“That’s kind of complicated. So, Slytherin was the oldest child in his family, a politician and a Lord. His house is where the heirs went, future leaders, estate managers… pretty much anything that had to do with inheritances, leadership or financial matters. Eventually they also had what would be the equivalent of solicitors—experts in legal matters. It was the house most likely to get first years, because some are born into their future career.”
“People like me,” Draco stated, not sure if he felt satisfied at the notion or a little disappointed.
Harry gave him a speculative look. “I’m not so sure… I’ll let you in on the rest and then you tell me?”
“All right… what about Gryffindor?”
“Gryffindor and his instructors tended to mentor in careers that were daring, and also careers that needed a lot of magical power. Curse breakers, sportsmen, ward smiths—except for rune wards, which were taught in Ravenclaw—aurors, hit wizards, officers in the magical military. Stuff like that.”
Harry was relaxing and warming to his subject, and Draco was surprised that he was gratified to see the Seer shed some of the darkness and express some happiness. What was happening him, and why so quickly? But despite his inner turmoil, Draco was very intrigued by the subject. “Let me guess… the intellectual pursuits were mentored in Ravenclaw?”
“Muggle term, never mind. It means exactly, or dead accurate. Anyway, Ravenclaw taught the potions masters, spell crafters, cross-taught some of the warding where it pertained to runes, writers of text books and magical theory came from Ravenclaw, plus early mentoring for healers who wanted to focus on spell damage and things of that nature. Most healers were trained in Hufflepuff.”
“And what else was in Hufflepuff?”
Harry was now moving his hands animatedly. “Hufflepuff was a probably the most eclectic house, which was based on what Helga herself and Adair were skilled in. Everything from basic healing arts to magical builders to musicians and artists and writers.” Harry shot Draco a look at the last. “Plus careers like herbology, though about half of the herbology students were being cross-mentored from Ravenclaw for their potions studies. Also divination was taught in Hufflepuff to a select few that Helga thought had potential as vessels.”
Draco looked down at his hands, wondering how he felt about what Harry apparently knew. “I take it you know about my childhood aspirations?”
Harry shifted uncomfortably a bit before sighing. “I’m sorry. I try not to look into your past, but the first couple days, it was hard not to see things. And when Helga told me you were my soulmate, I got so many visions of your life. Really, I’m so sorry–”
“It’s okay, Harry,” Draco interjected, feeling very exposed. “So you know I wanted to play the violin?”
“I can’t read minds in my visions… but I could see your passion for it, and your clear talent. That’s why I think that even though you’d have taken some classes under Slytherin mentorship, you’d have been in Hufflepuff.”
All the sudden, Draco saw the humor in the situation and started to laugh. “A Malfoy in Hufflepuff!”
After a few seconds, Harry hesitantly offered, “Being sorted into any house was a great honor, Draco. Many, possibly even most, stayed in the common house their entire time at Hogwarts. And because Helga was both a Slytherin and a Seer, she was very highly regarded, and so was her house.”
“Helga Hufflepuff was a Slytherin?”
“I don’t mean she was in Slytherin house, because she predates the house, but I mean she’s Salazar’s younger sister.”
Draco blinked rapidly in shock. “How is that not known?”
Harry shrugged. “I can see what happened, but motivations sometimes elude me. Plus I’m still working on controlling what I see. Some of this I learned through visions, some straight from Helga and some seemed to just be there, straight from Lady Magic. And I’m still adjusting to Magic herself interacting directly with me,” he said the last on a whisper.
Draco thought on that a bit. There was a difficult conversation to be had about how they’d wound up facing catastrophe, but he felt Harry needed a break from that. Surprisingly, what Harry needed seemed to really matter to him. “So, the houses were about mentoring for your career. That… makes rather too much sense.”
Harry snorted. “Much more sense than grouping people together by personality traits.”
He wanted to ask why it had changed, but he inferred that the reason wasn’t a good one. Because the system really did make more rational sense, so he settled on a different question. “You mentioned that Gryffindor mentored careers that required a lot of magical power. What did you mean?”
Harry glanced at his hands a bit, then sighed, and Draco could tell he’d inadvertently walked right into the more difficult discussion. “It used to be that just wanting to pursue a career was no guarantee that you would be able to. For instance, if you wanted to be a musician, but had no natural talent, no matter how much you might want it, you wouldn’t be sorted into Hufflepuff to learn wizarding music. People sorted into one of the mentorship houses had to have the talent, the passion and the willingness to work.”
He broke off and seemed to be thinking. Eventually, Harry continued. “Some careers required a minimum level of raw magical power. You couldn’t be a curse breaker if you weren’t at least blue on the Myrddin Scale. Some careers required talent, some required intelligence, some required power, and some were positions granted by birth. Or some combination of the above. If you didn’t meet that criteria, even if you wanted it, you didn’t get in.”
“And that caused problems?” Draco prompted, and he knew that the Myrddin Scale was practically considered obsolete in contemporary wizarding society. It was odd to consider that it used to be a major part of placement at Hogwarts and later in individual careers.
“Big problems,” Harry replied emphatically. “Imagine you’re an influential man and your son wants to be a hit wizard, and you need to be at least blue on the Myrddin Scale, but he’s only yellow. He would never be accepted in Gryffindor House for training, nor would the Ministry accept him into the program. After the founders were long gone, people started changing the way the magical government and the school were run to… well, to pander to mediocrity.
“Power levels were dwindling, and all it takes is a couple smart men who don’t have much magical power and are bitter, to work their way into magical government and start changing laws to favor themselves or their descendants.”
Draco blew out a breath. “And how was the fifth house removed?”
“Same thing, really. An angry headmaster, a resentful few on the board of governors… and the house system was changed so that all children had to be sorted. Supposedly that was the only fair thing to do. The school tried to continue to mentor the students onto a career path, but it wasn’t really possible. Eventually every house became a caricature of itself, and references to the fifth house were wiped from the history books.”
“Great Merlin… wizards made a right mess of things,” Draco said, feeling completely exasperated. The thing is that he could see his father going down that path if it had been necessary for Draco, unaware of the damage he was causing.
“You have no idea how true that is,” Harry replied, sounding like he was lost in thought.
Draco nudged him. “And what house would you have been in, Your Grace?”
Harry snorted. “Don’t call me that.” He blew out a breath. “I don’t want you to ever call me that. But, I’d have probably been sorted into Slytherin if I’d been raised in the wizarding world.”
“Not Hufflepuff? With you being a Seer?”
With a quick shake of the head, Harry replied, “Even a true Seer can’t see who the next Seer will be. Only Lady Magic knows who and when. Helga has only ever seen my life in terms of what it would have been if this hadn’t happened.”
“Hmm. So why Slytherin? Because you’re the last scion of the House of Potter?”
“And Gryffindor and Peverell, plus Sirius has made me the heir to the House of Black.”
Draco just gaped at Harry, unable to think past his surprise.
Harry shrugged. “It’s kind of weird to think that we’re going to have four, uh–” he abruptly cut himself off and flushed bright red.
Pulling himself back together, Draco couldn’t resist figuring out what caused that reaction. “Four what?”
“Never mind. Not relevant, really. Not yet.”
Arching a brow, Draco inquired, “So, it affects me, but you won’t reveal it? Are we going to be partners in this, or not?”
“Well, yes, but really–”
“So,” Draco demanded, “what do we need four of?”
Harry bit his lip and seemed unable to meet Draco’s gaze. “Children. We’ll have to have at least four children.”
Draco choked on plain air, then started coughing, trying to get his breathing under control.
Cheeks flushed with embarrassment, Draco mentally flailed for a change of subject. Part of his brain supplied the question of why only four, when there were five titles between them, but, really, that was the least of the questions he could be asking. And he didn’t really want to ask any of them.
“How am I supposed to help you, Harry?” he asked in lieu of anything related to children.
Still a bit red in the face himself, Harry contemplated his hands. “This helps… having someone to talk to about normal stuff. And sometimes, when the visions are too much, this,” he made an awkward gesture between the two of them where they were in physical contact, “would be brilliant.”
Draco mulled that over for a few seconds, feeling a bit disappointed. Talking and handholding? “How is that being in contact helps you with your visions?”
Harry blew out a breath. “When I came into my gift, all my magic was channeled to it, and new pathways were created. It takes time for those pathways to… well, I guess mature would be the right word. A soulbond helps anchor me, so I have better control and don’t get lost in the visions. But I’m not ready for that… I don’t think either of use are.” Harry flashed him a questioning look.
“I’m uncertain what that means, but it sounds rather, um, intimate.”
“It is.” Harry chewed on his lip before continuing. “In the absence of the soulbond, physical contact will help.”
“If you’re going to help me carry out this, whatever it is, then I want your help deciding what to do.”
Surprised, Draco looked at Harry more fully. “You’d trust me to help you?”
Harry shrugged one shoulder. “It’s your life, too. It’s as much your world as mine.”
Draco said nothing, just relaxed against the wall and absorbed that Harry was trying as much as Draco was. After a long silence, he asked, “You said all your magic is channeled into your gift, but what happens when you need to perform magic?”
“I can’t. Not in the way you mean. Except for a few specific rituals, my magic is devoted to seeing,” Harry said with little affect.
Caught in an appalled silence for several moments, Draco finally managed to whisper. “You won’t be able to do magic?”
“Not like you or anyone else. But Magic takes care of her Seers…” Harry trailed off and conjured a ball of light that floated above his palm. “Any magic I need, I ask Lady Magic. So it comes from outside of me, not within me.” The light flickered out and Harry dropped his hand.
Before Draco could think of how to respond, Harry issued a jaw-popping yawn. “Go to bed, Harry. You need to sleep.”
Looking reluctant, Harry simply nod. “Listen, Malf- sorry, Draco, would you move into the suite?” Before Draco could stammer out a reply, Harry quickly added, “I don’t mean move into my room! I meant that there’s more than one bedroom in this suite and…” He started picking at the seam of his jeans again. “It feels better when you’re closer,” he ended on a mumble.
“Go to bed, Harry. I’ll ask Poet to show me the room.”
Harry got to his feet and oddly enough, Draco felt a little weird at the loss of contact. The Seer paused at the door and looked back. “Thank you, Draco.”
Draco just nodded. After Harry had left, Draco dragged his hands through his hair, trying to get his thoughts in order. “Poet?” he called out.
The house elf popped in quickly. “Master Dragon be living with his soulmate now?”
“Yes. Would you help me bring my clothes and books, and then show me to my room?” Draco had learned quickly that one did not order Poet to do something. The talking to she’d given him his second day in the Hall had been memorable. Also, he didn’t have much. Clothes had been provided for him, and he still hadn’t been given his wand.
Poet nodded enthusiastically and popped away.
Draco lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling and thinking back over the last few days. Poet had quickly managed his belongings, then left to help Harry with something.
He felt so different here in the Hall. Adair had mentioned that the direct touch of Magic would leave him forever changed, at least to some degree. He felt clearer and lighter than he could ever remember. And being closer to Harry was another dimension to that.
He was surprised at how easy it was to make peace with Harry and how good it felt to be close to him. How right it was. Everything being easy and comfortable made a part of Draco a bit wary, because he worried it wouldn’t last.
All the sudden, Poet popped back into the room. Draco propped himself on one elbow and peered and the brightly smiling house elf. The smile made him a little concerned.
“Poet be saying good night, Master Dragon.” With that she quickly popped away.
Draco’s brows shot up in surprise. He didn’t really want to admit that the approval of the feisty little elf felt good, because he shouldn’t care what an elf thought. But it did feel good, and he did care.
Rolling his eyes at his ridiculous sentimentality, he pulled the covers over his head and tried to sleep.
In the morning, Draco found Harry alone in the small dining room in their suite. He was staring moodily into what Draco thought was probably coffee. “You don’t look like you got much sleep.”
Harry looked up, and his expression brightened a bit. “I slept for a bit. Then the visions were persistent.”
Draco fixed a cup of tea, then took a seat across from Harry. He caught a flicker of something in Harry’s expression before it was closed off, but Draco felt an odd tug at his magic. Without thinking, he got to his feet and moved next to Harry, their arms brushing. His magic settled and Harry seemed to relax.
Neither of them acknowledged the change. Instead, Draco offered, “What happened to your glasses?”
“Oh, um, Magic fixed me. Or, rather, is fixing me, and that includes my wretched eyesight.”
“Can she do anything about your hair,” Draco asked teasingly. He sensed there was something behind the ‘is fixing me’ comment, but decided not to push.
Harry choked on his coffee and shot Draco a vexed look. “Nothing can help my hair.”
Draco carefully assessed Harry before, replying, “It needs to be much longer, or half the length. And since we’re going to be spending a lot of time together, I insist we try something with your hair.”
Harry’s scowl melted away suddenly, then he looked thoughtful. “Only if you do the same… longer or shorter.”
“That’s quite Slytherin of you. Done.” He could tell by Harry’s expression that the Seer hadn’t expected Draco to agree. Smirking, Draco sipped his tea.
Helga met them in the study after breakfast, passing Draco a vial filled with shimmering white future vision memory.
He took it with the enthusiasm of handling a pit viper. “What is it?”
Lips twitching, she seated herself across from where Draco and Harry were seated on the sofa. “Poet informed me that you two were in need of new hairstyles. I scryed for a few I thought would suit. You can pick the ones you want and she’ll tend to it.”
Harry dropped his head into his palms and groaned, and Draco just stared. A Seer was scrying for hairstyles? He felt himself flush to his hairline.
Fortunately, Helga changed the subject before Draco could self-combust. “Typically, Harry and I work on directing his visions in the morning, but I believe you two need some more time to get things clear between you. Draco, I expect you to join us and learn how to support him through the process.”
Draco nodded, grateful he’d have something productive to do.
Helga continued, “After this week, Adair will also be working with you, Draco, on your magical education. No point in wasting the time you’re here when you can avail yourself of a true Hufflepuff education.”
Harry started laughing, and Draco elbowed him in the ribs without thinking, making Harry laugh harder.
After Helga outlined their training program for the next few weeks, she left to join Adair, leaving Harry and Draco alone one again.
Draco had so many questions, but really needed to know why this was happening before anything else. “Are you able to tell me now why the wizarding world is in so much danger, and when, or perhaps even how this came to pass?”
Harry turned so he was sitting sideways on the sofa, his leg pressed against Draco’s. “You already know the muggles will find us. Their technology is advancing much faster than our magic. Those high up in the muggle government have always known about us, but when the general populace learns… it eventually leads to what you saw.”
“Why do they react so horribly?”
“I asked Helga the same question. She believes it to be a combination of envy of our magic and fear.”
“And why haven’t we been taking steps before now? You’re the last Seer. There were nine before you.”
“Oh… I think that’s a misunderstanding. I didn’t know how much Helga had told you. A Seer can only see so far into the future. The number of possible futures becomes so vast that it’s overwhelming. There’s a limit of a few hundred years, and the further out you look, the less precise the vision is.”
Something about that gave Draco pause. “But we have prophecies that are more than a thousand years old. How did those come to pass?”
“Sometimes Magic herself gives a vision to a Seer that’s so far in the future, it’s beyond the scope of their usual abilities. Because the Seer isn’t looking for themselves, their perspective is limited to whatever their personal interpretation is of what they’ve been shown.”
“Did Magic foresee this?”
“Yes. And she has been trying to warn us that there would be serious consequences to turning away from her design, but we failed to understand. So much of it goes back to abandoning our soulmates.”
“I don’t understand how that has led to these horrid visions of the future.”
Harry looked a bit uncomfortable, but straightened his shoulders as a look of determination crossed his face. “Soulmates aren’t just about who is best suited to us, it’s about who we’re best suited to have children with… which pairings will produce the strongest magic.”
Draco found himself nearly choking again. “You and I are soulmates. Are you’re saying we’re supposed to have children?”
“The two of us? Our own children? I thought you meant blood adoption!” Blood adoption was how two wizards typically went about the business of having heirs. And since there weren’t very many orphans outside of wartime, having four or five would be considered extreme.
“Wizards and witches were never meant to grow children inside their own bodies. It cuts the child off from most of the other parent’s magic.”
Unable to do anything but gape like a commoner, Draco struggled to pull himself together. “Um… huh?”
“There’s a complex blood ritual and specific objects involved, add some wild magic, then both parents feed their magic to their developing child. Depending upon the power levels of the two parents, the child could take three months to one year to fully develop.”
Harry waved the really disturbing comment away and added, “The how isn’t the important bit, the point is Magic arranges our destined mate by what will keep magic strong.”
“Why would people break away from their destined mate?” The message was clear that’s what happened, but Draco couldn’t fathom why.
Harry shrugged. “Some of the history I’ve seen, and some Magic has given me the knowledge of, but I can’t be sure of the motivation. It seems like people wanted to marry for other reasons… money, power, influence, treaties. Also, some clearly wanted to blend with the muggle world. I think a few legitimately fell in love with people who weren’t their soulmate, but that was because the soul orb wasn’t in use by then, and they never knew any better.”
“So wizarding magic weakened?”
“Yeah. And then we saw the emergence of squibs, who actually have magic, but they don’t develop the channels to use the magic. They have magical soulmates, and if we’d gone back to the soul orb, Magic would have paired them with someone compatible. The conception rituals can draw from even a squib’s magic. The resulting children would have strengthened magic again.”
Draco was far from stupid and could see where this was going. “But we cast them out into the muggle world.”
“And when two squib lines come together, there’s the potential for the magical channels to develop in their offspring and you get…” Harry trailed off, looking uncomfortable.
“Oh bloody hell! That’s where muggleborns come from!” Draco dragged his hands over his face and blew out an aggravated breath. “That makes better sense than the notion that magic suddenly appeared in non-magicals.”
“Right. And the more wizards defy Magic and weaken the magic of their children, the more squibs, then more muggleborns, and the more opportunities for the wizarding world and the muggle world to intersect.”
Feeling like everything he’d been taught was turned upside down, Draco eventually asked, “Is that intersection the reason for that awful future?”
“Somewhat. It’s also because we haven’t brought muggleborns into wizarding society, most of them leave because they feel unwelcome or are unable to obtain employment. But it’s mostly due to our magic stagnating. Our magic isn’t developing, there are not enough new spells or wards to counteract the advancement of muggle technology.”
Draco frowned, not certain what kind of technology could be a problem for wizards, but knew he’d learn eventually. It all seemed a bit much at the moment. “You’ve learned quite a lot since we arrived.”
Harry gave a humorless laugh and rapped on his head with his knuckles. “It’s all been shoved in here. Now I just have to figure out how to see my way through the possible futures to a solution that will save magic.”
“Right,” Draco muttered feeling completely overwhelmed, and he could tell Harry felt the same. Not sure what to say, he blurted out, “Where’s your pensieve? I can’t save the world today, but maybe I can save your hair.”
Draco reviewed his notes carefully. The last scenario Harry had traced in his visions had been an utter failure. But they had to keep track of what he’d attempted. He glanced up at Harry to find his eyes had glazed blue, which meant he was searching the past for something.
He’d learned so much in the last week since he and Harry had agreed to let their past go, and it was overwhelming some days. The first time he’d seen Harry in a vision, he’d been utterly confounded. When Harry looked into the future, his bright green eyes just vanished and everything became swirling shimmering white. When he looked into the past, it was a light blue. He was completely blind to the real world when he was in a vision.
Fortunately, visions were speedy, relatively speaking. Harry could see years in a couple hours. Helga had said when he was fully trained, he’d be able to see years play out in minutes. Visions of the past were even faster because he didn’t have to push his gift down any path, he was seeing what was already fixed in time.
Helga was closely monitoring Harry, so Draco pulled out a bit of parchment he was using to keep a private tally. Harry was just finishing his 32nd scenario where he tried to work through Dumbledore. Draco labeled it AD32 and put an X next to it, even though Harry wasn’t quite finished with the vision as yet. Draco had no reason to suppose any attempt to engage Dumbledore was going to work, but Harry kept trying, almost desperately, and he wouldn’t discuss with Draco why he was so determined. Both Harry’s persistence on following this path and his refusal to discuss his motives was starting to wear at Draco’s patience.
Tucking the parchment back into his pocket, he waited for Harry to come out of the vision. The fact that Harry was scanning the past meant that he was searching for the source of something he didn’t like in his future vision, a sure indication of major scenario failure. That Harry could search for answers meant this vision wasn’t as bad as some. Occasionally, Harry would come out of a vision nearly incoherent from what he’d scene, or fighting the urge to empty his stomach.
When Harry’s green eyes finally reappeared, there seemed to be some anger behind them, but Draco didn’t bother to ask. Harry would usually tell Draco what he’d seen, but almost never explain his emotions.
Harry rubbed his forehead, then muttered. “It didn’t work.”
“Do you want to expound on that, Harry?” Helga asked with no evidence of any insistence in her tone.
“No. It’s the same as always. Every avenue of muggle cooperation Dumbledore tries leads us to destruction faster.” Harry’s jaw clenched and he looked away. “I want to try another scenario where I go directly before the ICW.”
Draco looked up sharply. “You’ve done several of those.”
“Well, I want to try again!” Harry bit out.
Before Draco could reply, Helga held up her hand. “I’d like to work on a different skill with you, Harry. It’s one that may augment your search. Since we’re not telepaths, sometimes we have to search harder in both the past and the future to uncover motivation.
“We’ve worked on setting a scenario and seeing how that plays out, but now I’d like to teach you to look at what could have been, but can no longer be.”
Harry and Draco both flashed her identical looks of confusion. “Huh?”
“You can turn your sights to an event that has already passed, or which cannot be changed and see how events would have been different if something had been different. For example, you could view yours and Draco’s futures if you had never become a Seer.”
The two in question shared an uncomfortable look, before Harry asked, “I thought I couldn’t really see my own future except where I happened to intersect someone else’s?”
“But you’re not. A Seer cannot see their future directly because the act of seeing immediately changes it. It’s a paradox. But you’re not seeing your future, you’re seeing the future you could have had if the past had been different. The same skill works for past events. You and Draco discussed that you think he’d have been in Hufflepuff and you in Slytherin. You could set your sight to viewing your first year sorting as if the sorting hat worked as originally intended.”
Harry still looked confused. “What’s the benefit of that?”
Helga’s lips tipped up in what Draco had termed her mysterious smile. “It can speak to motivation, or possibly give you leverage in approaching someone. Perhaps someone had a miserable life, but you can envision what their life would have been if they’d been treated properly.
“For instance, you caretaker at Hogwarts, Argus Filch, you could see what his life would have been if he’d not been shunned for being a squib, and I think you’d find what his passions and interests were.”
The teens exchanged a quick disgusted look, before Draco blurted out, “Why would we care what Filch’s interests were?”
Giving both of them a stern look, Helga retorted, “You never know who you might need on your side. And scrying for what might have been can potentially yield information that can aid you in your task.
“This is not an optional skill for you to learn, Harry. And you will start with your own life. You need to see how your life would have played out, how the future would have been, if you were not a Seer. It’s the future all of us have seen until the moment the Great Mother laid her hand on you.
“You also will look more closely at your past. At everyone involved in your life, what they did, and what might have been if they had made different choices.”
With a look of discomfort and extreme reluctance, Harry shot a quick glance at Draco, then muttered, “Maybe some other time.”
Suddenly, Draco understood that Harry didn’t want Draco present. Whether it was the potential future, the potential past, or the actual past, Draco didn’t know. Forcing down the hurt feelings, Draco tidied the stack of parchment and set the quill and ink aside.
“I must prepare for my training with Adair,” Draco said getting to his feet and leaving the study.
“Draco!” Harry called out, but Draco softly closed the study door and left Harry’s suite to cross to the formal training hall.
The room was empty because Draco was quite early, so he gracelessly plopped on one of the benches and resisted the urge to run his fingers through his hair. That had always been one of his nervous tics, but now that his hair was much shorter, it went quite wild if Draco abused it when he was tense.
A few minutes passed as Draco considered how little Harry was actually letting Draco in. They were civil, and Harry frequently needed casual physical contact, but he wouldn’t really discuss anything of import with Draco.
He shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that, after all they’d had quite a rocky history, but Draco was floundering and didn’t feel like he really had a place.
A soft pop followed by the scent of hot chocolate announced Poet’s arrival. She always seemed to know when he was upset and popped in with hot cocoa. He took the chocolate with a murmured, “Thank you, Poet.”
A moment later, his books and parchment necessary for his training appeared on one side and Poet hopped onto the bench on the other side. “Master Dragon be sad?”
“I don’t think I belong here.”
“Master Dragon belongs with his soulmate!” she insisted emphatically.
“Perhaps,” he conceded, “but I’m certainly not needed. Potter needs to train, and I’m just slowing things down because he doesn’t want to reveal anything to me.”
“Your feelings be hurt,” Poet said, oddly enough referring to Draco directly, rather than in the third person she usually used.
“It doesn’t matter, Poet. I should just do my training and leave Potter be.”
Poet got a mutinous expression on her face and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yous be silly now. Everything not be fixed in a week!” After a moment she seemed to relent and held out her hand, a beat later a wrapped box appeared. “Happy Birthday, Master Dragon.”
Draco stared at her in surprise. “It’s not my birthday.” He wouldn’t have a real birthday for over a week after their training ended.
“Master Dragon still be getting older,” she insisted. “Yous body be fifteen today even if yous real birthday not be until after you go back.”
Setting down the hot chocolate, Draco carefully took the package. “Thank you for this,” he said, feeling a welling of discomfort that he didn’t want to label that he’d always been so cold and dismissive to his house elves.
He opened the box to find a beautifully crafted Hebridean Black dragon with clear bright amethysts for eyes. “This is brilliant! It was always my favorite… I love their purple eyes.” He suddenly had a thought. “Did you make this?”
Poet nodded enthusiastically. “Poet would have been a Hufflepuff, too,” she said with a sly look.
Draco burst out laughing and then impulsively did something he never thought he’d do. He wrapped one arm around Poet’s shoulders and gave her a gentle squeeze. “Thank you, Poet.”
Poet fixed her blue eyes on him and gave him a mock scowl. “Master Dragon no be thinking about trying to tempt Poet away! I’s be bonded to Lady Helga and Master Adair. Yous be finding your own elf!” She gave a firm nod, eyes twinkling and popped away.
Still smiling, Draco examined the palm-sized dragon, trying to keep his worries and frustrations at bay for a little while.
Draco pushed open the door to his room, feeling utterly spent. Adair had been merciless in his training this afternoon, and Draco wasn’t sure he had the energy for dinner.
He set his stuff on the table, just as a voice said, “Draco?” He gave a start of surprise and nearly fumbled his dragon from Poet. Managing to get it on the table, he turned to find his soulmate on the settee. “Merlin’s pants, Potter! If I’d dropped my gift, I’d feel obliged to hex you! What are you doing in my room?”
Brows drawing together into a frown, the Seer sharply retorted, “’Potter?’ Are we back to last names, Malfoy?”
Frustrated, Draco crossed his arms over his chest. “What do you want? And you evaded the question about why you’re in my room.”
“I didn’t want you to be able to avoid me!” he snapped.
Draco glared. “What do you want?”
Potter seemed set to throw out another retort, but suddenly slumped back and dragged his hands through his hair, making Draco a little jealous that the resulting messy spikes worked for him. “I wanted to talk to you, and I knew you were upset. I wasn’t sure you’d come to dinner.”
Not willing to relent, Draco insisted, “What do you want?”
“I apologize, all right? I… I’m not trying to keep things from you, but-” he broke off and looked away. It took several moments, but he eventually continued. “My childhood wasn’t pleasant. I’ve never really talked about it, and I know you’re trying, but it’s hard to put our history completely aside and let you know about how I grew up.”
“You’re afraid I’ll use it against you,” Draco said with certainty.
“Not up here,” he replied pointing to his head. “I don’t think that, but I feel it a bit, yeah.”
Sighing, Draco reached up, managed to not run his fingers through his hair and rubbed the back of his neck. “You’ve seen my childhood. Do you think I’m comfortable with that?”
He winced. “No. I’m sorry, okay?”
“Harry…” Draco tried to think of how to respond. “You’re not really letting me help! You let me take notes, and sometimes you sit by me, but you refuse to tell me why you keep chasing these scenarios with Dumbledore. You get upset, and you still won’t explain. You said you wanted my help, but I’m really just your scribe.”
At Harry’s silence, Draco prompted, “If we’re going to keep trying, I need to at least understand. Tell me why you’re so determinedly pursuing Dumbledore as the answer.”
Harry suddenly leapt to his feet and started to pace, hands waving wildly. “Because I need for it to have meant something!”
Bemused, Draco could only say, “What?”
“He’s been in control of everything! He’s been manipulating me, manipulated my parents, made decisions he had no right to make, was responsible for me being with my relatives, left Sirius in prison.”
Draco was shocked, completely blindsided that this was what had Harry so tied up in knots.
Harry fisted his hands in his hair. “I want there to be a reason for it! If he’s the solution, maybe it was worth it. Maybe the ends do justify the means.” He stopped and pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes. “I’m starting to hate him, but I keep telling myself it’ll all be worth it if he can save Magic. But he can’t! And…”
Suddenly, Harry dropped to his knees with a groan and his eyes shifted to white. Seers had to keep their emotions under control, because wild emotions could lead them down vision paths based on their own emotional wishes, and Harry was now in an emotion-fueled vision.
Draco was frozen for several seconds before darting forward and dropping down next to Harry. He placed a hand on Harry’s arm and the Seer twitched, but the vision didn’t stop.
“More contact, Draco.” He looked up to find Helga standing above them. “I can stop it, but you two need to start to rely on one another. If you can’t, I will, but you should try first.”
“How?” Draco asked, feeling desperate because Harry was starting to tremble, a response he didn’t usually have to a vision.
“Touch him, hold him, talk to him. I know there are still struggles between you, but you both need to work past it, and come together.”
Draco turned his attention back to Harry as he brought his arms up and around his soulmate. The closer contact created a pull on his magic that was like touching something vital. “Come on, Harry,” he whispered. “Wherever you are, it’s not where you want to be. I know you’d much rather be here arguing with me.”
Harry’s muscles eased a bit, but otherwise didn’t respond.
Draco kept talking, murmuring nonsense, sometimes talking about their past, finally asking, “Remember when we met? I wonder what would have happened if we’d have gotten off to a better start?”
“We’d have been good friends. Some things would have been better for both of us, but a lot of things worse,” Harry mumbled as he sagged against Draco, hands fisting in Draco’s sweater.
Making a dismissive noise as he felt some of his worry abate, Draco retorted, “Nonsense. Being friends with me can only be better,” he said teasingly.
Harry snorted, head still pressed against Draco’s shoulder. “You’re a vain git.” Draco made a disagreeing noise, but didn’t respond, and a moment later, Harry pulled back looking pale and worn out. He peered closely at Draco. “I’ll try to do better, yeah?”
Draco nodded, suddenly aware that Helga, Adair and Poet were hovering. He didn’t want an audience for this discussion. He got to his feet and reached down to help Harry up. “What was the vision?”
“I’ll tell you later.” At Draco’s expression, Harry quickly added, “I’m not avoiding telling you, I just don’t want to think about it now. Besides, I want cake.”
“Birthday cake,” Harry said with an attempt at a smile. He reached out and wrapped his hand around Draco’s wrist, seemingly not ready to give up contact. “Happy Birthday, Draco.”
Draco folded his arms on the desk and rested his chin on his hands, staring moodily and the dozen vials in front of him. For the last couple weeks, Harry had been presenting him with memories and a few ‘what might have been’ futures. Draco called them the lost futures—things that could have been if different choices had been made.
The viewing was always done in private as Harry didn’t seem to want to know what Draco’s reaction would be, and he didn’t seem to want to talk about it afterward. But Draco wanted to talk to Harry. He wanted to tell him he thought what Dumbledore had done was inexcusable, that Harry’s childhood had Draco horrified, and that the future they would have had made Draco ill.
But they didn’t talk, not about anything important. They continued working on Harry’s visions, documenting each path carefully. True to his word, Harry was explaining more, and he’d abandoned the idea of pursuing Dumbledore as the solution, but other than polite conversation, the vials of memories were the only real personal connection to his soulmate.
Draco knew he was doing just as poorly opening up to Harry. His magic pulled at him, making him want to be close to Harry, but then things would get awkward outside of their work.
He’d been able to deduce a few things from some vague references coupled with his knowledge of Harry’s childhood. His soulmate was still being ‘fixed’ by magic. Harry had been malnourished and his growth was stunted. Lady Magic had directly fixed some things, which was why Harry seemed to have had a growth spurt and no longer needed spectacles, but other things still required potions and time.
Sitting up straight, Draco pulled up the sleeve of his pajama top and ran his fingers over the letters written into his skin. Harrison James Potter. He suddenly wondered if Harry had Draco’s name on his arm? Had he touched the soul orb yet?
Eyes narrowing, Draco decided to take control of matters, and there was no time like the present. Perhaps if Harry was tired, he wouldn’t be able to deflect so successfully.
While pulling on his robe, he quickly exited his bedroom, only to nearly stumble as he came to an abrupt halt when he found Harry sitting on the floor outside his room dressed in just his pajamas. “Merlin’s beard, what are you doing on the floor?”
Harry flushed and scrambled to his feet. “I’ll, uh, just be going.”
“No you won’t.” Draco reached out and grabbed Harry’s wrist, hauling him back into Draco’s room. “I want to talk to you and since you’re already here you might as well come in.”
“Draco!” Harry protested as he was pushed on the sofa. “You prat. What has gotten into you?”
“Me?” Draco crossed his arms over his chest. “Tell me why you were sitting outside my door?”
Flushing again, Harry looked away. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“To start, I want an answer to my question.”
Shoulders slumping, Harry mumbled, “I don’t sleep well, and it’s easier if I spend time closer to you before I even try.”
“You sit out there every night?” Draco asked incredulously, not sure what to even think about that. Harry shrugged, which Draco took to mean, ‘yes.’ Running his hands through his hair, uncaring of the disordered mess he’d leave, Draco sighed in frustration. “Why didn’t you just say?”
“No point in neither of us getting sleep.”
“But you’ve been looking better lately. Ah, I see, you’re using a glamour.”
“Just a small one,” Harry eventually admitted.
Draco threw up his hands and started to pace, mind whirling on how to fix that problem, too. “First of all, we need to start making plans.”
“Plans?” Harry queried, utterly bewildered.
“Yes, plans! When we go back, we are going to ruin Dumbledore. I know our first duty is to Magic, but we need something to look forward to.”
Harry just gaped.
“Don’t look at me like that. The old goat deserves whatever we can think up.”
“Draco,” Harry began, sounding weary.
“No! You don’t get to make all the decisions, Harry. I’ve decided we’re ruining Dumbledore. And we’re going to ruin those wretched muggles of yours. Plus I’m taking you shopping in Paris.”
“Draco, I have clothes,” Harry interjected.
“That’s not the point! Also, you can just be prepared to have to buy every single thing your heart desires to furnish our rooms, wherever they may be.”
“Draco,” Harry said with no small amount of exasperation, “we’re going to be in school when we get back.”
“Nonsense. Don’t tell me you don’t know how to sneak out of school! And even if we don’t, there’s the Yule holidays.” Draco pointed directly at Harry. “You’re going shopping with me.”
“Okay, Draco.” Harry held up his hands in surrender, lips twitching. “But Dumbldore and the Dursleys–”
“You are not persuading me otherwise. I refuse to see you be self-sacrificing in this. There will be justice, even if I have to do it alone.” Draco stopped and propped his hands on his hips. “Drop the glamour.”
“Draco,” Harry tried again.
“I’m done not being your partner in this. I know it’s only been a month, but I have been as patient as I can be. Now get in bed. We’ll discuss it further tomorrow.”
Wide-eyed, and looking like he was worried Draco might go completely spare, Harry slowly got to his feet and headed for the door.
Draco intercepted him and pointed at his own bed. “That bed.”
Harry made a choking noise. “I can’t sleep in your bed!”
“Don’t be annoying. Just get in bed. If you’re not sleeping because you need more physical contact, we’ll share a bed until your control of the visions is better.”
“We can’t!” Harry protested
“Oh, shut it,” Draco muttered, herding Harry towards the bed. Harry may be in charge of figuring out how to save Magic, but Draco was going to be in charge of Harry, whether Harry liked it or not!
Harry eventually stopped resisting and climbed into bed. Draco followed, keeping a careful distance, but reached out and wrapped his hand around Harry’s wrist. Draco had never shared a bed with anyone in his life, but ignored his nerves. It was his job to take care of Harry, and he was going to do it!
“We’ll talk in the morning, Harry.” When there was no response, Draco glanced over to find Harry already asleep. “Goodnight,” he whispered, then issued a quiet ‘nox’ to douse the light.
Draco woke to the sensation of being watched, and the night before came rushing back before he even opened his eyes. He felt his face heat up at his brazenness.
“Why are you blushing?” Harry asked, voice sleep-raspy.
Opening his eyes, he found Harry propped on one arm, looking groggy, one hand pressed against Draco’s arm. “I… I apologize for being so, um, forward last night. You, uh, seemed like you needed to sleep.”
“I did.” Harry broke eye contact. “Thanks for that.”
Draco noticed that Harry’s glamour was gone, and the Seer still looked quite tired. “Poet,” he called softly, getting an alarmed look from Harry. Draco clamped a hand on Harry’s arm to keep him from going anywhere just as Poet popped in.
“Yes, Master Dragon?” she asked with no expression of surprise.
“Would you tell Helga and Adair that Harry needs some more rest. Also he and I need to have a rather lengthy discussion. We’re excusing ourselves from training today.”
Poet gave him an approving look and popped away.
“We can’t just, just,” Harry sputtered, “we can’t not train.”
“Of course we can,” Draco insisted. “You’re tired and you’ll make better progress if you’re rested. Additionally we need to sort ourselves out. I’m tired of us being awkward, and we need to make time to have fun occasionally.”
“Fun?” Harry asked incredulously.
“Go to sleep. Everything else can wait.”
Harry flopped back on the bed, arm covering his eyes, but the other hand still pressed against Draco. “This is awkward,” he muttered.
“Well, yes, I suppose it is,” Draco said primly, “but you’ll have to adjust because I’ll be moving into your room until you’re in control enough of your visions to sleep properly.”
“What?” Harry squawked.
“Go to sleep!”
“How am I supposed to sleep now?”
Draco’s confidence was more than half bravado and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could manage it. An uneasy silence fell over the room and they both lay there tensely. Maybe they should just go ahead and get up? He flailed around for something to say. “Did you touch the soul orb?” he blurted out.
Harry glanced over at him. “Yes.”
“May I see?” he asked tentatively.
“Can I see yours?” Harry asked in return.
Clearly Draco was going to have to be the less stroppy of the two of them. At least for the moment. He was reserving the right to be so later. In response, he pushed up his sleeve and presented his arm to his soulmate.
Harry immediately reached out, but hesitated just before touching. “May I?” Draco nodded, and Harry trailed his fingers along the flowing letters on Draco’s forearm. He felt his magic well up gently, leaving a feeling of peace in its wake. After a few moments, Harry released Draco’s arm, then pushed up his own sleeve, presenting the arm to Draco.
Draco looked to Harry for permission and got a nod in return. He traced the letters gently, oddly affected by seeing his name on Harry. Draco Lucius Malfoy. He felt Harry relax more into the mattress as Draco touched the soul mark. Wrapped in his own thoughts, fingers lightly touching Harry’s arm, Draco was surprised when the arm suddenly seemed to get heavier.
He glanced over and found Harry had fallen asleep again. Gently, he set Harry’s arm on the bed, his own fingers still moving gently over the letters. The whole thing suddenly seemed so much more real. Draco had another moment of self-doubt, but pushed it away. They’d rest, and then they’d talk and make plans to set some things to rights.
Draco sat across the dining table from Harry, both of them avoiding each other’s eyes. They’d awakened just before lunch holding hands and the awkwardness had immediately returned. Harry had quickly fled the room under the pretext of getting dressed. Draco had happily taken a few moments alone and tried desperately not to think about it. Poet had left him with a note from Helga that they were giving Harry and Draco the day to themselves and that she was, ‘relieved the two of you are ready to see sense.’
Reminding himself that he was a Malfoy and could handle any social situation, Draco cleared his throat to get Harry’s attention. “Is there a particular reason why you’re sitting opposite me?” They usually sat next to one another, as meals were one of the times Harry could get the physical contact to help him relax in between his training sessions.
Harry seemed to have some struggle getting his food down without choking, so Draco waited with faked patience. Eventually, Harry muttered, “I just… it’s… this is…”
“You’re being ridiculous. Stop it this instant.”
Gaze sharpening to a glare, Harry retorted, “You’ve turned into a bloody bossy bastard in the last day!”
Draco returned the glare for a beat before he changed the subject. “Adair and Helga have given us the day to ourselves. I thought we might go flying.”
“Really?” Harry perked up, then frowned. “But we need to train.”
“Harry, we’ve got time. We cannot only train for the next, well, however long we’ll be here. I demand that we have fun on occasion.”
Harry’s lips twitched in amusement. “So we have the whole day?”
Draco sniffed. “Yes. And while we’re flying,” and wouldn’t it be strange to be out close to the field of magic that surrounded the Hall, “I’ll ask Poet to move my things into your room.”
Mouth agape, Harry just stared.
“You look like a simpleton.”
And there was the glare, followed by, “You don’t have to give up your room! I can manage.”
“Yes, and I’ve seen you, but you’ll manage better if you sleep.” Draco gave him a sharp look. “You said we’d be partners, promised you’d work on allowing me to help.”
Harry blushed. “But that’s… I’ve never shared, uh…”
“Well, I haven’t either! But we will do what we must, and that includes no more ridiculousness. We’re sharing a room, not having…” Draco suddenly couldn’t hold back his own embarrassment and stared down at the table.
Draco getting flustered seem to make Harry feel better, and he quickly polished off his lunch, then dragged Draco outside to make use of the brooms Poet had provided.
Hours later, exhausted and happier than they’d been since arriving, they were lying side by side on the grass staring up at the swirling shades of blue white and coral, an endless sea of pure magic.
“It’s peculiar how it feels like we’re in the sun, but there’s just that,” Harry mused, pointing up.
Feeling content, Draco hummed his agreement. Suddenly he had a thought and quickly sat up. “I have an idea.”
“I’m terrified,” Harry muttered, resting his hands behind his head. “You seem to have a lot of ideas today.”
Draco just turned up his nose, causing Harry to snicker. “Remember when you said that you thought you’d have been in Slytherin? Did you check? Did you do the what might have been vision?”
“Yup,” Harry said popping the p. “And I was right.”
Grinning Draco asked, “What about me?”
Harry sat up, sitting in front of Draco, their knees touching. “Well, you would have been sorted into Slytherin in your first year, and moved to Hufflepuff in your third year.”
“Oh. Did transfers happen a lot?”
“Not usually. When someone needed skills from a different house, they took a class or two under their mentorship, but remained in the house they were sorted into.”
“Yes, well, I’m a Malfoy… we’re special,” Draco said teasingly.
“Yeah. Special,” Harry replied dryly.
“Let’s do our friends,” Draco said with a note of glee, ignoring Harry’s tone entirely.
Harry bit his lip, looking unsure. “I don’t know…”
“Is it against some Seer’s ethic?”
“Then come on. Tell me.” Draco was practically bouncing in excitement. “What about Blaise?”
Harry looked like he was trying to decide. Finally he nodded. “Okay, but we never tell anyone?”
“Yes. Okay. Now, tell!”
Harry’s eyes shifted to white, which sort of surprised Draco, but then he realized that blue was only actual past, not a potential past. After about a minute, Harry said, “Ravenclaw. He wants to be spell crafter.”
“Oh.” Draco was a little surprised. “Hey! I’ve never seen you talk when you’re in a vision. I didn’t even know you could.”
“Visions usually come too fast to communicate while I’m in one. This is easy though. Who’s next?” Harry seemed to be getting into it a little more.
“Um… unsorted until seventh year and then one year in Slytherin, which is odd, but she finally decided to learn a little about politics and estate management. Rather late that.”
A beat later, Harry replied, “Never sorted.”
“I’m not terribly surprised, I suppose. What about Goyle?”
“Slytherin in second year.”
Draco could happily do all of Slytherin house, but he nudged Harry. “What about your friends?” When Harry hesitated, Draco prompted, “What about Weasel-y?”
Harry blew out a breath and his eyes again were covered by the white field of magic. “Never sorted,” Harry finally said. His eyes returned to normal. “Please don’t ever tell him that. Even though…” Harry trailed off, biting his lip.
Something had clearly just happened. “I won’t say anything, Harry. But, what’s bothering you?” When Harry seemed like he wasn’t going to answer, Draco sighed. “How long do you think it will be before you can trust me?”
Harry looked up sharply. “It’s not that.”
“It is that. And I’m trying to understand.” Draco looked away, trying not to lash out in anger. “It’s just not easy for me. You can look and know whatever you want, but I… I have to convince you to trust me, and in the interim, you don’t share anything that bothers you, anything that’s difficult.” Not wanting to fight, Draco started to get up, but Harry grabbed his arm, keeping him seated.
“It’s not just you. I’ve never trusted anyone with my secrets,” Harry insisted. “Ron and Hermione knew a lot of things, but I almost never told them when something was bothering me. I didn’t tell them about my childhood, or any of it really. You know way more than they do. Look,” Harry blew out a breath, “Dumbledore arranged for Ron and me to be friends, okay? He put the Weasleys in my path so I would be influenced by a light family loyal to him. He’s done his best to keep me ignorant and uninformed and unable to really function in the wizarding world. And Ron… it’s like being hit, yeah?”
Draco mulled that over for several seconds, deciding that he needed to leave the Weasel subject alone. “What do you mean about keeping you ignorant and uninformed?”
Harry slumped. “You’ve seen what I grew up in. When would I have learned about the wizarding world, or traditions, or even that I would be a Lord and hold a seat on the Wizengamot? I didn’t even know I had titles until I came here.”
Draco was appalled. “You have to learn, Harry! That’s important if we’re going to persuade people to work with us.”
“I know,” Harry waved it away. “When I’m a little better at controlling the visions I can scry in the past for the information I need.”
“I’ll teach you,” Draco offered hesitantly, worried Harry wouldn’t want help that wasn’t forced on him.
After a long moment, Harry nodded. “I’d like that.”
Draco couldn’t stop the broad smile when Harry agreed. “But you know, now I’m really even more determined to utterly ruin Dumbledore.”
Harry groaned and buried his face in his hands, and Draco started laughing.
“What’s bothering you?”
Draco looked up from his book to find Harry watching him with a pensive expression. Harry was seated cross-legged on the bed, his own book resting in his lap. They’d been sharing a bed for five days now, and Harry was finally starting to seem rested and better able to cope with the stress of his training. “I was just contemplating something Adair mentioned during classes today.”
Setting aside the book he wasn’t really reading, Draco sat up from his reclining position. “He mentioned that you are the youngest Seer. He said the Lady Magic usually awakens her Seers after the age of 25. The seventh Seer was given her gift at nineteen. Why so young for you?”
Harry bit his lip and scratched absently at his chin. “I asked Helga about that, too, and it’s one of those things she won’t tell me.” He gave a frustrated huff. “I’m supposed to figure it out for myself.”
Draco frowned. “What else are you supposed to work out for yourself?”
“The solution,” Harry replied sardonically.
“Pardon? You mean the solution. To saving Magic?”
Snapping his mouth shut as soon as he realized he was gaping, Draco hotly retorted, “You mean Helga knows? Then why are you going through this?”
Harry shrugged, slumping a little. “She said every Seer has to walk their own path. That we have to see the answers for ourselves. Apparently all the Seers have been noodling on this problem and hadn’t seen a solution. Until after I was given my gift. Apparently Helga saw the answer fairly quickly after that, but she won’t tell me how to find it.”
Draco found that incredibly annoying. “What about the other Seers? Do they see it now, too?”
“Don’t know. They’re all on a picnic.”
At night? Blinking in confusion, Draco managed a semi-intelligent, “Huh?”
Harry blew out a breath. “I thought maybe Adair had told you all this. Sorry… I should have said. When Seers use their gift, we’re all accessing the same plane. Apparently Seers untrained in their gift stomp around in that plane like a wild hippogriff and it can be difficult for the others. Helga is my mentor, and tries not to see anything at the same time as me. But the others all took the opportunity presented by the time dilation bubble to have a short holiday back in the temporal realm. I think they’re in Hawaii.”
At Draco’s prolonged stunned silence, Harry quickly added, “It’s not as peculiar as it sounds. To them, it’s only a matter of hours and we get all the training we need without giving the other Seers headaches.”
“Well, I suppose that explains why I haven’t seen anyone else. I assumed everyone was busy.”
“There are a few house elves around, but Poet is very territorial about Helga and Adair, and that includes their students.”
“Setting the oddities of the Hall aside, back to my query… why were you gifted so young? Doesn’t it make you think there’s something that would have happened in the near future that would have made any recovery of Magic impossible?”
“Hn.” Harry looked thoughtful. “That makes sense. I assume it would have been Voldemort’s resurrection. That would have been at the end of this year.”
Draco nodded, he’d seen that in the visions Harry had provided. It had made him feel like a petty little twat for how he’d been planning to treat Harry over the tournament nonsense, when the whole thing was devised to resurrect the Dark Lord.
“Now I have all the information needed to completely destroy him, so that won’t be an issue,” Harry reassured. After a moment, he continued. “But you’re still worrying on something.”
“Hmm? Oh, yes, I suppose so. It feels as if there’s something just… there. I can’t quite grasp it. Does that make any sense?”
“You have no idea,” Harry murmured staring at his hands. “I feel like that with most of my visions. Like I’m a half a turn off somewhere.”
Draco reached out and touched Harry’s arm. “You’ll get it, Harry. I know you will.”
Harry’s lips turned up in a faint echo of a real smile. “Thanks, Draco. It’s weird to say this, but I’d be completely mental if you weren’t here.”
Feeling himself flush, Draco nodded. He wanted to ask Harry more about the visions, and whatever it was he thought Helga was not telling him, but he felt it wasn’t the right time to push. He’d wait a little longer and see what happened.
Instead, he cautiously asked, “Do you mind if I ask a question about Dumbledore?”
Harry’s expression closed off and he tensed, but after a moment, he sighed and nodded. “Sorry. I know I get peculiar about him. What is it?”
“In all the visions you had of trying to get his help, why didn’t they work? What was the central problem?”
Harry looked thoughtful for a few moments, before replying, “I think it’s that he believes his judgment is the only right one. The way he perceives a situation must be what’s true and real. His way is the right way and any other option is not worth pursuing.” Harry shrugged. “I can’t read his mind, but that’s how I see him now. If it’s not his way, it’s not worth doing.”
Not wanting to pry further, Draco just made an affirmative noise and settled himself back against the pillows. “Goodnight, Harry.”
A few moments later, the lights went out and he felt Harry getting comfortable. After a long pause, Harry’s fingers curled around Draco’s wrist. “’Night, Dray,” he whispered.
Draco returned from his training with Adair surprisingly not tired. He’d focused a lot on theory today, so Draco wasn’t drained from an afternoon full of firing spells and dueling.
Harry was in their room sitting at the desk, scribbling on a bit of parchment. Their eyes met briefly, then skittered away, both of them still a little awkward about waking up cuddled together. This morning had been the third time that had happened in the two weeks they’d been sharing a bed. While it was getting easier, they both still struggled with embarrassment.
“How was your training?” Harry asked, not looking up.
“Good. Mostly theory today. Just a moment,” Draco said as he disappeared behind the screen to change for dinner. When he was dressed, he asked, “How did your afternoon visions go? Anything of note?”
Harry waved toward the parchment left on Draco’s desk. “More of the same. You can see what we tried. At least it’s starting to go a little faster. It’s becoming easier not to get sidelined in the middle of a vision and adjust for problems without having to start over.”
“That’s great,” Draco murmured as he started looking through the notes. It was all more of the same, as Harry had said. It wasn’t so much that the scenario Harry had seen hadn’t worked that bothered Draco, it was more a theme that was starting to emerge in how Harry was choosing what to see. But Draco decided not to say anything for now and see what happened. Harry had been learning for only about six weeks, and they still had a long journey.
“Ready for dinner?” Harry asked, surprising Draco with how close he was.
Letting any remaining awkwardness bleed away, Draco nodded and followed Harry to the dining room.
The next morning, after their morning vision session, Draco was preparing to go meet with Adair when Helga asked him to stay.
“Draco, Adair was going to review more magical theory with you, but I need to have the same discussion with Harry, so please stay.”
Nodding, Draco settled on the sofa next to Harry, automatically sitting close enough for their arms to touch. Harry was always tense after several hours in his visions, and immediately relaxed at Draco’s touch.
“Harry,” Helga began, clearly carefully choosing her words, “I’ve had you look into a lot of past events to help you determine how we came to this point, but we have yet to discuss the magical classifications. I believe Draco has a better understanding of this, but I’m going to proceed as if he is unaware.” She glanced at Draco and he nodded his agreement.
Harry looked a little perplexed, however. “You mean light magic and the dark arts?”
Draco felt himself bristling a bit, but pretended not to notice Harry’s quizzical look.
“Not precisely,” Helga hedged. “The very phrasing of your questions tells me I need to start at the beginning. Originally, there was just magic. There was no classification or affinity, though different skills were required for different types of spells. Then a few people created a new branch of magic, a corrupted type of magic, that became known as black magic.”
“Is that the origins of the dark arts?” Harry queried.
“No. Dark arts is an arbitrary classification imposed by a few petty wizards in a position of power. And I’ll explain that comment in a moment. No, black magic is a magical ritual that, at its heart, is fueled by death. If the magical rite cannot be completed without death, whether one death or multiple, then the ritual is considered corrupted magic and classified as black. Understand?”
Harry nodded, brows drawn together, clearly thinking. He glanced at Draco. “You already knew this?”
“What determines black magic?” At Harry’s nod, Draco answered, “Yes. I knew. It’s basic magical theory.”
Scowling a bit, Harry crossed his arms over his chest. “Which no one teaches those raised in the muggle world.”
Before Draco could reply, Helga interceded. “Not just the muggle-raised, Harry. Many families no longer teach any form of true magical history or theory. Families that consider themselves exceedingly light often refuse to even mention black magic, until the knowledge of what defines black magic is known in restricted books or passed down through the more ancient family lines.”
Harry seemed to relax a bit and nodded. “So what attributes define dark magic?”
“Allow me to tell you the history first, and then you’ll understand.” She adjusted her robes a bit before continuing. “Light and dark were designations placed on magic by wizards, not by the Great Mother. Some magic is more emotion driven, meaning how you feel and what you project into the spell is more important than the wand movements or even the incantation. Can you think of an example, Harry?”
“The patronus,” Harry immediately responded, but he was frowning as if he were thinking through something.
“Perfect example. In fact, the incantation, expecto patronum, is almost irrelevant except as it aids as a focus. The intent and the emotion behind it is the most important. But another example of emotion magic is the cruciatus. If you don’t want to cause pain and suffering, you will be unable to properly power the spell. Make sense?”
“Yeah, but one’s light magic and one’s dark magic, right?”
She held up a hand for patience. “Another category of magic is that which is power-driven. So, spells that require a lot of personal magical power to achieve. Of the spells classified as unforgivable by modern wizards, both the imperius and the avada kedavra fall into this category. Have you ever wondered why more people don’t die in wizarding battles? If the avada kedavra were an easy spell, the side most willing to use it would easily win. But your average wizard in this age might be able to fire it properly one time in a battle because of the drain on his magic, and it might prevent him from properly using other offensive or defensive spells because of the drain. It’s often used right before they plan to leave a battle, so they can immediately rest afterward.
“Even a very powerful wizard might be limited to firing it three or four times before their magical core would need to recharge. Now, personal power levels can affect any type of magic. Your ability to infuse your magic with your emotions allowed you to produce a patronus. Your personal power level allowed that patronus to be corporeal. It’s all interconnected. Make sense?”
Even Draco was learning a thing or two, so nodded right along with Harry.
“Wonderful. Next concept is ritual. Whether it’s wand movement, or incantation, or chanting, almost all wand spells have some level of ritual. Spells that require very specific wand movement with a specific incantation are high-ritual spells. An example would be…?”
“Wingardium leviosa,” Harry muttered, looking thoughtful.
“Exactly. And the important thing to know about high-ritual spells is that almost any power level can learn to perform them. So even someone who is red on the Myrddin scale, which is the lowest level we can actually measure, can learn to perform that charm. The ritual itself taps into Magic directly, and one’s personal power levels are less important.
“Now, most magic is a combination of ritual, intent, emotion and power, but some things fall more clearly under one classification. Many simple transfigurations can be done with little incantation and very simple wand movement if the power and intent is adequate. The less power a person has, the more ritual they need to tap into Magic and perform the same transfiguration. Make sense?”
“I get it,” Harry said, “but I feel like there’s a point that’s eluding me.”
“The point, Harry, is that most wand magic that was classified as purely light is high ritual, and most wand magic that was classified as purely dark was high power, also the same with most of the high-emotion spells, because high-emotion spells tend to require more power to cast well. Originally those classifications did not exist. Much like many of the other breakdowns throughout time, a few without much power, but with great influence, managed to demonize a group of spells that they themselves were incapable of performing, or perhaps that their children could not perform.”
Helga tossed her hair over her shoulder and seemed to be struggling with utter annoyance at the wizarding world. “It would have made more sense to say that curses were dark and charms were light. I would still have found it troublesome, but it would at least have some reason to it.
“The wizarding world was reaping what it had sown when it turned away from its soulmates. Politically powerful wizards had children who were not being sorted into a skilled House, they weren’t powerful enough to pass the criteria for many professions. In some cases they couldn’t even graduate from Hogwarts because they were unable to perform core competency spells. Most of those spells were later classified as dark and removed from the curriculum. And you already know what happened to the house system, and that any Myrddin Scale score requirements were removed from job qualifications.”
Draco had heard the essence of this as theory before, but he’d never truly believed that at one time there was no light or dark magic.
“But what about the patronus?” Harry asked, leaning forward a bit. “That’s considered a purely light spell and it’s both power and emotion driven.”
Helga smirked a bit. “The patronus was originally classified as dark when the very first ministry mandate was written.” At Draco’s and Harry’s twin looks of incredulity, Helga laughed. “Exactly. Light was synonymous with good and dark had become bad and the patronus was clearly a light spell by that definition. Too many people asked questions specifically about the patronus being classified as dark, that the minister of the time quickly changed it. There are a few other spells that they were forced to reclassify for similar reasons, but the main thing for you to be aware of is that there is no light or dark magic.”
“But,” Harry quickly replies, “a lot of dark spells do damaging things.”
“That’s intent, not magic, Harry. Intent can be dark or light, but magic is neither. The most humane way to kill livestock is with the killing curse. In that context, the intent is light. Not many wizards in this day have the power to use it for that purpose, but the spell was crafted by a witch as a gift to her husband as a clean, painless way to slaughter their cattle and pigs.”
Draco gaped at the elder Seer, astonished that one of the most reviled curses in the wizarding world was a livestock spell! “But what about dark and light families?” he blurted out. “Certain family lines are perceived as dark. And what about dark artifacts?”
Helga inclined her head in acknowledgment. “In a grossly generalized way, the dark families were the ones that were against the regulation of magic. I’m not saying their intent was pure, thought some were, but rather they didn’t want the Ministry mandating what type of magic they could perform.
“As for dark artifacts, that touches on several magical topics. An object could be considered dark just for having protections placed upon it where the protections themselves fall in the realm of so-called ‘dark’ magic. Certain hexes and curses and the like. Or the object could be associated with a black magic ritual, and the object would be forever tainted by the corrupt magic. Also, many objects that might be considered dark were used in either blood magic or sex magic, which were both classified as dark, with a few exceptions.
“Blood and sex magic leaves a specific magical residue in the objects utilized, and that has a particular feel. So instead of a wizard picking up a ritual dagger and feeling the connection to blood magic, that feeling has been labeled as ‘dark’.”
Harry fidgeted uncomfortably a little as soon as Helga mentioned sex magic, which Draco doubted was a subject he’d ever studied.
“Why were those types of ritual magic largely banned?” Draco asked.
“For the most part, blood and sex magic can be used by any witch or wizard, but they tend to favor the powerful as your personal magic store can greatly affect the outcome of most rituals. For example, blood wards used to be very common, and the more powerful the caster, the more powerful the ward. That could be a hint that someone was magically weak. Certain blood rituals they couldn’t ban, like blood adoption, but as many as possible, they did.
“You have to realize that this all occurred gradually over a few hundred years. There was no need for this when we married our soulmates and had magically powerful children. It was of no concern that we demanded that curse breakers be blue on the Myrddin Scale, because that was eighty percent of the population! Now, less than five percent of wizards would be blue or above.” Helga looked painfully indignant at the magical state of modern wizards. Draco didn’t blame her. From more than eighty percent to less than five?
Helga continuing grabbed Draco’s attention again, stopping him from slipping too much into his own thoughts. “As we became weaker, there was a great effort to make everyone appear to be the same. Magic that could indicate that you were powerful, was called dark, blood magic and sex magic were largely banned, those with insufficient power were allowed to become ward smiths and the like and our protections against the muggle world began to weaken. It’s all connected.”
Draco turned to look at Harry, who was chewing on his lower lip, looking pensive. Eventually, Harry asked, “Are you saying dark wizards are powerful and light wizards are weak?”
“No,” Helga replied quickly. “In this age, one’s stated magical affiliation has little reflection on their actual magic. At best you could infer that it’s more a political or historical reflection. Many of the families classified as dark tend to see their children at the far ends of the spectrum—the very weak and the very strong, largely due to lack of blood diversity. While many of the light families tend to have more muggle blood in their lines, which can cause their magic to be somewhat muted. That’s a broad generalization, but true in about two-thirds of the wizarding populace.”
Harry had his arms crossed over his chest again, looking away, “Why was it important I know this now?”
Helga cocked her head to the side. “You tell me, Harry.” Jaw clenched, Harry stared at his lap. She looked to Draco instead. “I can tell it’s on your mind and has been, Draco, so why don’t you answer.”
Draco looked to his soulmate, who was determinedly not meeting his eye. “Because you’re only looking for solutions that involve supposed light wizards.”
Hopping to his feet, Harry glared fiercely at Draco. “The dark sect killed my parents!”
Returning the glare, Draco retorted, “My father is one of the wealthiest and most influential wizards in Britain, and not once have you looked to see what would happen if you went to him. He’s a lord, has a seat on the Wizengamot and the Board of Governors, and you haven’t even considered him!” Draco ended on a near yell.
“Your father is a follower of Voldemort!”
“He’s a wizard! And has as much right to save Magic as anyone else!”
“He’s dark. Maybe that doesn’t mean anything in magical terms, but his intent matters!”
“So we can only save Magic if you find the solution agreeable? If it’s not your way it’s not worth doing?” Draco wanted to apologize as soon as the words were out of his mouth.
Harry reared back as if he’d been slapped. “I am not Dumbledore!”
Draco wanted to lash out, but he bit his tongue, spun on his heel and left the room.
Draco floated on his broom very close to the swirling field of magic that encapsulated the boundaries of the hall. He forced himself not to think of the blowup with Harry earlier in the day, he simply floated and watched the swirling colors.
Drifting a little closer, he reached out and let his fingers trail through the magical barrier. There was a zing of energy that traveled from his arm and quickly suffused his entire body. He felt invigorated and almost giddy.
“You won’t be able to touch your wand for a week,” Adair’s voice said irritably from nearby.
Draco wobbled a bit on his broom, withdrawing his hand and quickly balancing himself. He shot a heated glare at the elder wizard. “Do you want me to plummet to my death?”
“Don’t be melodramatic. I’m quite capable of quickly and wandlessly casting a levitation charm.”
“No one likes a braggart,” Draco muttered somewhat childishly. At Adair’s look of amused tolerance, Draco quickly asked, “What are you doing up here anyway? I thought you hated flying.”
“I do,” Adair quickly retorted. “It’s ridiculous to be lollygagging around on a broom fifty meters in the air when there’s a perfectly good ground to be had. But you seemed intent on staying up here. And now that you’ve touched a field of pure magic, your core will be overcharged again,” he finished with no small amount of exasperation.
“Sorry?” Draco offered tentatively.
“You shall be! If you were ready for wandless magic, we could burn the excess away quickly, as it stands, you’d blow up your wand if you touched it now.” He sighed and look uncomfortably around. “I assure you that you will have extra theory and history lessons this week since we are unable to resume practical instruction. Now how long do you plan to stay up here?”
Shrugging, Draco bit his lip and looked away.
“Draco,” Adair said softly after several moments, “I know this is difficult, and you are being asked to manage a situation that is well beyond your years, but you are doing well. Harry’s life has left him a place where his thinking is not yet flexible.
“I’d like to discuss this further, but first, I simply must insist that we set foot on solid ground again,” Adair said, peering longingly at stable surface far below them.
A few moments later, they dismounted their brooms and Poet popped in to take them, flashing Draco a look of concern, but she said nothing as she quickly vanished. Adair led Draco inside and into a suite of rooms he’d not yet been in.
They settled into chairs in a small library where tea was already waiting. “What rooms are these?” Draco asked, glancing around.
“This suite of rooms belongs to Helga and myself. This is my library. I thought perhaps a talk before I return you to your rooms.”
Draco wasn’t sure how to respond. Were they here because Harry didn’t want him around anymore? Had he pushed too far? In lieu of anything else, Draco just offered a vague nod.
“Draco, one of the hardest tasks for any Seer is to learn to see past their own experiences, to see the will of Magic. It’s not easy for any of them, but it’s uniquely difficult for Harry. The young can on the one hand be so flexible, but at the same time be so black and white in their thinking.”
“So, I need to be more patient,” Draco mused, looking into his tea.
“No, and please look at me,” Adair requested gently. Draco looked up into concerned blue eyes. “Part of your role is to learn when to press. Seers are incredibly strong, and incredibly powerful, and yet also extremely vulnerable. And despite how much they see they can often be blind to that which is obvious. Seers cannot truly fulfill their purpose if they don’t have a soulmate to ground them, to help shield them in life. And sometimes to help guide them.
“The time here in the Hall isn’t just time for Harry to train, it’s time for you to train. It’s important that you learn when the time is right to step in. Helga knew Harry was wrestling with his own preconceived notions of right and wrong, of dark and light, but she also saw that you were not expressing your opinion. That you were not willing to push Harry.”
Draco felt like he’d failed the test. Yes, he’d finally pushed Harry, but he’d also gotten upset and run away. “What if he decides I’m too much of a bother?” He’d never before felt like he had a purpose, like he belonged to something, and he didn’t want to lose it.
“That’s an impossibility. You’re so close to it that you’re blind to how much Harry relies on you for support. You’re both struggling with being thrust into a situation for which you are too young and inexperienced. Your best solace is your soulmate, and your impulse is to be closer, but your rational mind and your experiences tell you to keep distant.”
Frowning in confusion, Draco asked, “What do you mean?”
Adair cocked his head to the side and gave Draco the sort of look he gave when Draco already knew the answer. “You automatically sit together and touch without thinking. The moment Harry is through with his visions, he seeks physical contact with you to help ground himself. Neither of you are yet ready for a full soulbond, and physical contact fills that void. Harry is making rapid progress with his Seer’s skills because he’s able to fully rest. That’s because your instincts told you exactly how to care for him so he could properly sleep.”
Draco flushed and looked at his lap.
“And that exactly illustrates my point. There is nothing shameful or embarrassing in supporting each other as you have been. But you do not yet have the life experience behind you to handle such situations with equanimity. You are both stumbling your way through. That said, I am proud of how you have quickly adapted and matured.”
Adair leaned forward and tapped Draco on the back of the hand, getting his full attention. “This is not a race. You are both making progress more rapidly than Helga or I anticipated.” He sat back again, crossing his legs. “We’ll be celebrating Yule in less than a fortnight. Find time to enjoy it, enjoy each other, enjoy the season. Teach Harry about wizarding traditions.”
“It’s peculiar to celebrate when it’s not really that day,” Draco murmured, already thinking on a Yule gift for Harry.
“We have to mark the passage of time for you. It’s important that you have things to celebrate and observe milestones together. If you and Harry are here for five years, you’ll leave almost twenty years old. Would you want to have never celebrated Yule together in all that time? Or Beltane or Samhain? I assure you that Harry has never celebrated any of them.”
Draco looked up sharply. “Really? Well that won’t do.” He hesitated a second, then tentatively asked, “How long should I stay away?”
Brows shooting up, Adair calmly replied, “You shouldn’t. The rooms are yours and Harry’s. You need to manage these situations together.”
“Was he very upset?” Draco asked, biting his lip.
“As were you,” Adair dryly pointed out. “As for Harry, he had some uncontrolled visions, but Helga assisted him, and they are talking much as you and I are.”
Draco felt a spike of guilt that he had triggered another awful emotion-fuelled vision.
“Stop, Draco. As much as any other skill, Harry has to learn how to modulate his emotions so he doesn’t fall into one of those visions. He’s not going to manage the rest of his life with no emotional turmoil. You cannot handle him with kid gloves.” Adair gave a huff of frustration. “This is the time to have these episodes, so you can both learn. Guilt will serve you ill.”
“I suppose I should go find him,” Draco acknowledged, steeling his resolve.
Adair watched him closely for several seconds. “Why don’t we have dinner here, and you can rejoin Harry afterward?”
Relieved to put off the confrontation a little longer, Draco nodded his acceptance.
During dinner, Adair entertained Draco’s questions about his and Helga’s training and early years together.
“You had never met before she came into her gift?” Draco asked incredulously.
“I was the younger son of Lord Hufflepuff living in London. I studied music and literature. Of course, I’d heard of the new magic school the Slytherins, Gryffindor and the widow Ravenclaw were building. Despite that magical Britain was quite small, I’d never met Helga.”
Adair swirled his wine, lips tipped up and gaze unfocused for a moment. “Lord Slytherin had become weary waiting for his sister to select a spouse. She was nearly eight and twenty, which in those days was quite late in life for a young lady to marry. Salazar had entered into a marriage contract on her behalf, much to her consternation. Days before she was due to wed, Lady Magic brought her to the Hall of the Seers to begin training.
“Much like you, I went to sleep in my own room in London, and woke here in the Hall,” he concluded, leaning back in his chair.
Frowning, Draco inquired, “Is the timing significant? That she was brought here just before she was to be married?”
“Hm. Possibly. A Seer must be bonded to their soulmate and no other. If circumstances were such that Lady Magic’s choice for her Seer were to change in an unfavorable way, she would act. Much as she brought you and Harry here before events unfold in such a way that they cannot be corrected.”
Draco nodded. He and Harry had already come to that conclusion, and he knew Harry had discussed it with Helga at least briefly. He decided to ask something he had been curious about. “I notice that you always refer to Magic as Lady Magic while Helga refers to her as Mother Magic or the Great Mother. Is there any significance?”
“You may use whichever you find agreeable. Though hundreds of years of observations has shown that your average witch or wizard is most comfortable referring to her as Lady Magic. While Seers all gravitate toward calling her Mother. The more profound a connection one has to magic, the more likely to choose a maternal term in their manner of address.”
Thinking that through, he thought of how Poet usually referred to Magic. “House elves?”
“Very magical little creatures. They are so in tune with magic they need no focus to channel it. No wand, no ritual. Their connection to magic is so profound, they need to utilize it with greater frequency than a wizard, and a bond with a wizard stabilizes their magic to a great degree. I find how that bond has been perverted by wizards to be an atrocity.” Adair gave him a searching look. “I’d consider it a personal service if you and Harry would see to rectifying that matter?”
Draco nodded. If his life hadn’t been interrupted by Magic herself, he’d have been one of those Adair would likely have been angry with. But now, he’d happily make that promise. “How long were you here?” Draco eventually asked.
“Three years. I suspect you and Harry will be here longer.”
“And why is that?” Draco was puzzled as to why their training would take longer.
“While Seers always come at times of great change, or a major turning point in history where Magic deems the wizarding world in need of more guidance, there has never been a moment quite like this one. Never has the future been so bleak or the consequences so expansive.
“Before you can leave, Harry needs to see at least one path to save the wizarding world, and you must be fully trained. Not what passes for training in modern-day Hogwarts, but a true magical education covering the breadth of magic including the mind arts.” Adair gave Draco a penetrating look, as if he expected him to complain, but Draco relished the idea of being one of the best trained wizards alive.
Though something seemed a little skewed. “I can see it taking years for my training, but Harry is progressing quickly.”
Adair shook his head. “Rudimentary control is gained quickly or Seers would likely go insane. No, mastery of their gift takes at least two years. I suspect Harry will take quite a bit longer as his reach seems to be a bit further than normal. Not unexpected as he is the last Seer.”
Draco raised a brow in inquiry. “Reach?”
“How far in the future he can reliably see. For every decade, the measure of control needed is magnified. Though there are additional items that may extend Harry’s training. He needs more training in magical theory because of the deplorable state of wizarding education. Further, as you are assisting him in this are you are quite aware that his general knowledge of the wizarding world’s history and traditions is quite lacking. That will take time.”
Nodding, Draco thought through everything Adair had mentioned, wondering if they’d be finished in even five years? Helga’s voice brought him out of his reverie.
“Good evening, gentlemen.” She smiled at them both and gave the outward air of calm, but Draco thought he could detect hints of fatigue.
He got to his feet and gave a short bow, even as Adair pulled out a chair for her.
“Thank you.” She turned her attention to Draco. “Harry is waiting for you.” At his hesitation, she added, “Don’t fret so, all will be well.”
He entered their suite and could feel that Harry was in the study. He found the Seer pacing, but he stopped and seemed to slump when he saw Draco.
“You came back,” Harry muttered, sounding wrung out.
They stared at each other, then both spoke at once.
Draco bit his lip and gestured for Harry to proceed.
Harry seemed to be struggling for several seconds, before he blurted out, “Stay and fight with me, but don’t go. Even if I’m mad, I don’t want you to go!”
Wide-eyed, Draco stared for a several seconds. “Um… I know we’re still trying to get accustomed to one another, and we have some history to get past. I shouldn’t have compared you to Dumbledore, and…” he trailed off, trying to work up the nerve. “I’d rather give you space than you tell me that–” Draco broke off, feeling unsteady and out of his depth.
“Tell you what?” Harry prompted.
After a few seconds, Draco was unable to meet Harry’s eyes, but finally managed to reply, “That I’m not worth the effort.”
Harry blew out his breath sharply and scrubbed his hands over his face. “Draco, I’m not…” He gave a huff of frustration and flopped gracelessly on the sofa, gesturing to the space next to him. “Please?”
Draco perched next to Harry, feeling more awkward than even their first few days working together.
Contemplating his lap and not looking directly at Draco, Harry haltingly began, “When I was younger, I-I never had anything of my own. Nothing really to call mine. Hedwig was the very first thing that was ever mine.”
Biting his lip, Draco felt something inside him tighten in distress.
“I don’t have much, Dray, but I feel in here,” he broke off pressing his fist to his chest, “that you’re mine,” he ended softly. Finally, he looked up, eyes overly bright. “I want to, I mean—ugh. I’m still trying to get past what’s here.” He tapped his head. “But please don’t leave.”
Draco felt amazing and awful at the same time. He suddenly understood that as much as he feared being pushed away and not being good enough, Harry feared being abandoned. “I won’t leave, Harry. I promise. Even if I go away to think, I promise not to leave you.”
Harry glanced away, blinking rapidly and just nodded.
Needing to say it and make sure Harry understood, Draco added, “I do apologize for what I said. I don’t ever want to use the things you confide in me against you.”
Harry made some sort of noise that Draco didn’t really know how to interpret, but it seemed okay, although Harry was fidgeting quite a lot. And then he moved a bit closer to Draco.
Draco moved closer, so their arms were touching and felt Harry finally start to relax. They sat in silence for several moments, and Draco had the keen sense that Harry still needed something. He knew that what he really wanted was to hug Harry and put this behind them, but he wasn’t sure if he should. Eventually, he took a chance and wrapped his arm around his soulmate. Harry stiffened for a second and Draco almost snatched his arm away and apologized, but then Harry sagged against him and let his head flop over on Draco’s shoulder.
“We’re a right mess,” Harry observed.
Draco gave an inelegant snort.
“About your father–”
“Don’t, Harry,” Draco quickly interrupted. “Not tonight. We can talk about it later, yeah?”
They didn’t talk, just sat there together, and Draco was at first surprised that Harry didn’t pull away. But then considered what Harry’s life had been like and wondered who ever hugged him? Draco’s parents were very proper in public, but in private he’d never had any reason to doubt they cared for him. Some of his earliest memories were of sitting in his father’s lap as his father read to him in front of the fire. Most people wouldn’t believe that side of Lucius Malfoy even existed, but Draco knew and that was enough.
The increase in weight against his side and Harry’s change in breathing told him his soulmate had fallen asleep. Many times Draco had felt overwhelmed and inadequate to the task before them, but in that moment, he thought everything would be okay.
After several minutes, when he was sure Harry was asleep, he called softly, “Poet?”
With almost no sound, Poet popped herself in and flashed him a smile. “Yes, Master Dragon?”
“He’s on my wand arm, would you cast a featherlight on him?”
Poet nodded eagerly and wiggled her fingers. Draco got to his feet, lifting Harry at the same time, surprised he didn’t wake even a little. Although Draco knew from experience that when an emotional outburst dragged Harry into a vision, it completely wiped him out. He felt another spike of guilt, but brushed it away.
He got Harry in bed, then Poet snapped her fingers and Harry was in his pajamas. A few minutes later, Draco slid into bed, making sure their arms were touching, but Harry immediately curled into him.
Draco woke to the feel of Harry still wrapped around him. He felt refreshed and clear-headed. Normally when they woke that cuddled together, they moved apart as quickly as possible, but he decided to wait and see what happened. After a few minutes Harry stirred, but didn’t move away.
“Is this okay?” Harry asked tentatively.
“Yeah. I mean, um, yes. It’s fine. Good,” Draco stammered, and when Harry seemed like he’d pull away, Draco tightened his arm around Harry’s back. “It’s good, Harry. I’m just being…” he trailed off. He was being awkward and ridiculous and he wanted to stop immediately.
Harry seemed to get it and kept his head on Draco’s shoulder. After a while, he softly said, “I can’t promise not to get stubborn again.”
“I can’t promise not to push when you do,” Draco retorted, even though pushing Harry was hard for him, it seemed to be in his job description.
Giving a little huff that seemed part laughter, Harry wiggled a little closer. After several long comfortable minutes, Harry sighed and tensed a bit. “About your father–”
“Harry, you don’t have to–”
“It was better,” Harry quickly interrupted.
“What?” Draco asked, astonished.
Harry’s arm tightened around Draco’s waist. “One of the visions I had yesterday… I did what you said and did a scenario where I went to him.” He took a deep breath, before adding, “I did it because I was mad, but he made more progress and did more than anyone else I’ve tried. In the end it didn’t quite work, but there’s something there. I need more time to look at it.”
Draco wasn’t sure what to feel or say. On one hand he was glad his father was in some way able to help, but he knew this was hurting Harry. “I’m sorry,” he tentatively offered.
“Don’t, just… it’s not anything to apologize for. It’s good. Yeah.” Harry finally sighed and pressed his face against Draco’s shoulder a little harder. “It’s good.”
“I meant that I’m sorry this is so hard for you. I wish this were…” he flailed about for the word, and finally settled somewhat dully only, “fair.”
Harry started laughing, but then sobered abruptly. “Right. I have to look at all these new options, see if I can fix what went wrong in the next vision, but,” he took a deep breath, “I don’t want to talk about it.” When Draco stiffened, Harry hurried to add, “I don’t mean I don’t want you there. I just… I need to just look and try to be all right with it, and not put everything down on parchment just yet.
“But I need you with me, Dray. Please don’t be angry.”
“I’m not angry,” he replied on a sigh. “I just wish I could help more.”
“You do!” Harry tipped his head so their eyes met. “And I know I need to let you help more. I just need to look at this option without talking about it. Helga doesn’t like it, but she said it was all right. I’ll have to explain it all later.” Harry’s hand fisted in Draco’s pajama top. “Please don’t go away.”
Draco looked up from his book, checking to see how Harry was doing. His eyes were obscured by the blue magic of past seeing. That wasn’t uncommon the last few days. Harry would spend time looking in the future, then abruptly switch to the past. He was clearly trying to work something out, but wasn’t yet talking about it.
Helga wasn’t supervising quite as closely as she had been because Harry was keeping whatever he was seeing to himself, and therefore needed less mentoring. For himself, Draco was rather frustrated, but Adair had heaped on the assignments, so he had plenty of revising to keep him busy. Instead of his afternoon classes with Adair, he was remaining with Harry, who seemed to need Draco to stay close.
He got the sense that Harry was chasing something in his visions, and it was obsessing the Seer, but Draco was trying not to push. Though he had put his foot down about visions in the evening after Harry had drifted into a vision several times in the middle of a conversation. No visions outside of the ascribed time.
Harry’s sudden need to keep Draco close had made getting ready for their Yule celebration in the coming week rather difficult. Poet was helping him prepare and he’d taken to passing her notes while Harry was immersed in a vision.
One thing that was different, and better, was that they were no longer awkward or shy about being close when they slept. Which brought up one looming issue they’d need to sort out eventually. Several boys in Slytherin had already started to sexually experiment. Draco hadn’t been one of them, but he wasn’t averse to the idea. But Harry was forever, and that made the idea rather intimidating.
Adair had plainly told them to keep their relationship above the waist until Harry was sixteen. The two had been so mortified, they hadn’t been able to look each other in the eye all evening.
He checked on Harry again and found that he was back in a future vision. Draco knew Harry was sorting out some sort of puzzle, but he was determined to be patient and give Harry the time he’d asked for. He sighed and pushed down his growing impatience, hoping his resolve lasted for more than a couple more days.
Blinking awake, Draco immediately registered that something was different, then quickly processed that Harry wasn’t in the bed. He wasn’t all that surprised. Harry had been very distracted the night prior. Draco had had to force him to stop the visions, and Harry had been sullen and moody afterward. Whatever was going on, Draco knew the situation was coming to a head.
He climbed out of bed to get ready for the day. Yule was in three days and there were still preparations. He needed to get at least a few hours to himself to finish one of Harry’s gifts, and he desperately hoped Harry would be in a better mood soon or all of his planning would be for naught.
Letting his magic lead him to Harry, Draco entered the dining room to find Harry seated at the table focused on lazily playing with what looked like a red ball or orb of some type. He was desultorily rolling it from hand to hand.
After preparing his tea, he took a seat at the table. “What do you have there?”
“Voldemort’s soul,” Harry replied absently still pushing the ball around.
Draco dropped his teacup.
Harry looked up at the sound of breaking china and winced.
“Voldemort’s soul? Are you serious?” Draco asked incredulously, so astonished he’d didn’t even flinch at the Dark Lord’s name.
“Um, yeah?” Harry replied hesitantly
“You have Voldemort’s soul at the breakfast table?”
“Oh. Well, I guess that’s…” he trailed off, apparently looking for the right word.
“Completely inappropriate?” Draco supplied helpfully.
“I was thinking more along the lines of ‘creepy’.”
“Yes, that as well,” Draco intoned dryly.
Sheepishly, Harry slipped the orb with Voldemort’s soul into his pocket. Though there was clearly something on his mind.
Draco pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to get his thoughts in order. “Why do you have that? Never mind, we’ll get to that in a moment, how do you even have it?”
Harry scrubbed his hands over his face, then dragged them through the messy spikes of his hair. “Have you ever heard of a horcrux?”
Frowning, Draco shook his head. “No. What is it?”
“In the visions I showed you of how our future would have played out, I left out Voldemort’s horcruxes. They’re how he achieved his immortality.” Harry looked a little uncomfortable at the mention of leaving them out of the visions.
There were so many possible questions, but Draco wanted to be sure there were no misunderstandings between them first. “Why didn’t you want me to know?”
“I… It’s hard to explain. This was before I learned about the difference between magic and black magic, and that there really was no dark magic. In the future that I could have had, I was told horcruxes were dark magic. And, well, I assumed you considered yourself a dark wizard.”
Draco crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back in the chair. “So you didn’t trust me.”
Harry quickly shook his head. “I was trying to protect you. I wasn’t sure what drew dark wizards to dark magic and I didn’t want to put that temptation in front of you.”
Deciding he would wait to hear the rest, Draco instead asked, “And what are they exactly? I gather you’ve decided I wouldn’t be tempted by whatever they are?”
“They’re very black magic. It’s a vessel that contains a fragment of one’s soul, designed to tether the soul to the earth.”
Draco felt himself blanch and the bile rise in his throat. “And you thought I’d be tempted by that?”
“I’m sorry,” Harry whispered. “I thought it safer. It was also some of Dumbledore in my head. In the not-future he always insisted that I had to keep it an absolute secret.”
Shaking his head, Draco gestured for Harry to continue, because he wasn’t even slightly inclined to delve into why Dumbledore thought a teen was the best person to carry such a wretched secret.
“Um… okay… the idea is that even if you destroy the body, the soul is still anchored to the earth and can be bound into a new body. Voldemort had six of them, though he would have later made a seventh.” Harry paused to make sure Draco was following the explanation and didn’t have questions.
Draco felt nauseated again at the notion of splitting your soul into pieces. And if it was black magic, each horcrux would have at least one death associated with it. “I take it in your non-future, you destroyed his soul pieces?”
“Not precisely. I destroyed the vessels. Souls, whether pieces or whole, cannot be destroyed. When I destroyed the vessels, the soul fragments become, well, loose would be the word, I suppose. In a sense they’re tethered to the earth because of the rest of the pieces, but they normally cannot be summoned or bound to an object again. When all the pieces of soul are untethered, they move on to the next realm. I destroyed the first horcrux in my second year, though I didn’t know at the time what it was.”
“Explain,” Draco ordered, leaning forward and watching Harry intently. He listened with rapt attention as Harry explained the events of second year, eliciting a promise that Harry would show him the memory of the basilisk and the chamber. He wanted to see exactly what Harry had really been through that Dumbledore should have prevented. Not that he needed additional reasons to want to see Dumbledore utterly destroyed.
After a few moments of consideration, Draco asked, “So that piece is just floating around waiting for the rest to be separated from their…” he made a vague gesture, feeling disgusted.
“Yes. Well, it was.” Harry held up a hand when Draco would have asked another question. “Voldemort’s sixth horcrux was a mistake… he doesn’t even know he made it. When the killing curse connected us, a fractured piece of his soul was lodged in my…” Harry trailed off and rubbed his fingers over his faded scar.
Draco reared back a little. “You have a piece of his soul in your scar?!”
“No! No, Draco. Not anymore. I did, but Mother Magic removed it when she activated my Seer’s gift, and it was placed in that orb. That’s why the scar is finally healing and fading.”
Taking a deep breath, Draco tried to understand what Harry must have gone through in those early days with the unlocking of his gift, plus finding out that there was a bit of the Dark Lord’s soul in his head. The thought made him shiver. “So that orb has the bit that was in your scar?”
“Uh, well, not exactly. It’s everything but the bit that is presently with Voldemort.”
Draco felt a headache coming on. “And how did that happen?”
“I asked Magic to unify all of his soul pieces. So the horcrux vessels are empty, the one in my scar is gone and the one that was untethered were all gathered.”
Gaping, Draco finally managed to ask, “Magic will do that for you?”
Harry shrugged, looking a little discomfited. “It’s difficult to explain. I mean, anything I could have done for myself when I had my magic available to me, Magic will do for me now. So if I want to apparate somewhere, Magic will take me. But suppose that someone asked me to help power their wardstone… well, Magic might do it, but it’s not really appropriate to ask. Am I making sense?”
“I think I understand. Lady Magic will act on your behalf, but not on behalf of someone else?”
“I may get a better sense of it as I have more practice. But I asked if she would combine the pieces of his soul, and my request was granted.” Harry glanced away and seemed to be steeling himself. As if something about Magic granting that boon troubled him.
Draco considered for a second. “And now it’s in your pocket.”
Draco rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. “This is so peculiar.” He shook his head, trying to get clear. “I should have made that a query. Why do you have the Dark Lord’s soul in your pocket?”
Groaning, Harry buried his face in his hands. Eventually, Harry’s muffled voice was heard. “I have to decide what to do with it.”
“You’re not going to destroy it?” Harry looked up at Draco and there was such an intense pain there, that Draco moved closer and wrapped an arm around his soulmate. He wondered how Harry had been hiding that. “Hey… what happened?”
Resting his head on Draco’s shoulder, Harry replied, “He was insane, you know? Is insane. Every split fractures the mind, too, and the every time he split his soul, he made his insanity worse. He’s barking mad, and the nuttier he got, the less chance there was that he would ever realize it.”
Draco considered that carefully. “Is that relevant?”
“When he was young he was powerful and charismatic and people lined up to follow him. Even after his first horcrux when he was at Hogwarts, he still had those traits. There were indications he was slipping into insanity, but he didn’t go completely round the twist until after his third split.”
Not at all clear where this was headed, Draco gently asked, “Where are you going with this, Harry?”
Abruptly, Harry pulled away and got to his feet, pacing frenetically, as if some dam had broken. “If I give it back to him… if I make his soul whole, he can do it. He can save Magic. It’s not easy, but he can do it.” Harry fisted his hands in his hair, pulling at the short strands as Draco stared on in horror.
Harry finally looked to Draco, green eyes filled with torment. “How do I do that, Dray? How do I make that monster whole?”
Draco shot to his feet and pulled Harry close. “We’ll find another way. You’ve barely started to look, and there has to be another way.”
Arms snaking around Draco’s waist, Harry held on tight. “It all makes sense,” Harry said in a choked voice. “It’s why Helga said I had to find my own way and wouldn’t tell me what she’d seen, why she made sure I started to look towards dark wizards, even why Mother Magic granted my request to unify his soul pieces.”
Harry took a gasping breath, then said softly, “But how do I go through with it? How do I heal the man who killed my parents?”
“We’ll look harder, Harry,” Draco whispered. “There has to be another way. We’ll figure out what he did that worked and find someone else to take the same steps. Don’t give up yet. Please.”
Harry just shook his head and dug his fingers into Draco’s back. There were fine tremors running through his frame, and Draco wondered how he’d held up under the strain of this realization the last few days. He’d been quiet and withdrawn, but had revealed nothing of his inner turmoil.
Draco held onto Harry and hoped that his soulmate wouldn’t have to pay such an awful price to save Magic.
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