- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Abuse - Child
- Character Bashing
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Other Trigger Topics
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
- Canon Divergence
- Challenge Response
- Time Travel
Draco sat trying not to stare at where Hermione and Harry were sitting together on one of the love sofas cuddled together as Harry tried to console her about her horrible day. Originally, the plan had been for just a visit, but the second his mother saw the two clinging to each other, she immediately invited Hermione to spend the night promising Professor McGonagall that she would send Hermione to Ross Castle first thing after breakfast. Fortunately, Draco had always known McGonagall to be an astute witch who cared for her charges, and he had a wonderful working relationship with her after the war. The generosity and forgiveness that she had graced Draco with had humbled him and made him that much more determined to prove that while he may look like him, Draco was not a Mini-Lucius.
However, while Draco knew and even completely understood the need that Harry and Hermione had for each other, it didn’t mean that he wasn’t jealous of them right then. After all, Harry and Hermione were in very similar spots, even if they weren’t identical. While Hermione didn’t remember her past life like Harry did, she at least now knew that there was a former life and was struggling with it. Draco on the other hand couldn’t help but feel a disconnect between himself and his friends.
To be fair, he knew that it was all on him. The guys had all tried, but it wasn’t as if any of them were used to sitting around discussing their feelings. That was something that Draco reserved for Daphne and Pansy, but mostly Pansy. Pansy was… well Pansy was his Hermione. Pansy was the sister of his soul. She was the person that outside of Severus, he knew that he could confess all of his sins to and would be understood and not judged. She was the only person in the world who knew all of his secrets, because she was the only one that he had trusted to keep them. Only, she wasn’t here, and she wouldn’t ever be here, again.
Sure, he still had a Pansy. He had the girl that she was at 13. The problem was that he wasn’t mentally 13 anymore and hadn’t been for long enough that he wasn’t sure that he even remembered who he had been at 13. The worst part about it was that he didn’t see a way around it. All he could see for his future was a life of loneliness outside of Harry.
“Green is totally your color; I just don’t know how useful it is in this circumstance.”
Shaking his head, Draco looked up to see a totally smoking hot twenty something man standing nearby. This stranger was at least a couple of inches taller than Draco had been at 30. He had dark hair, blue eyes and a full beard with a mustache. Had Draco been both older and didn’t know who his mate was, this stranger would totally have been someone that Draco would have hit up. As it was, he was just confused as to how some random stranger came to be in his study.
“Your mother invited me over,” the stranger offered with a smirk, and Draco couldn’t help but lift an eyebrow. “I’m an alpha werewolf, and I expect to lead my own pack someday. Not to mention I will be the Lord over an Elite 12 House. I would be a piss poor heir or pack leader if I couldn’t read the confusion and jealousy that I am sure you normally hide well. All things considered; I’d say that you have a good reason for being off your stride.”
“Look, I don’t mean to be rude,” Draco started only to be cut off when the other man plopped down on the arm of the chair Draco was sitting in.
“Oh yes you do, and I can’t say as I blame you a bit. I mean, let’s be real. Your life has to suck major ass at the moment, and unless you’re into that sort of thing it’s not a fun experience.”
Draco couldn’t help but snort even as he made a face because that certainly was not the kind of thing that he was into. He seriously hoped that Harry wasn’t either because he wasn’t sure that was something he could even pretend to enjoy.
“Mercury Barrows,” the stranger offered as he held out a hand, and Draco took it, if somewhat reluctantly.
“Draco Malfoy, but I am guessing that you knew that.”
“Hmm… I had hoped. Otherwise, Lady Malfoy is seriously going to be pissed off that I am trying to befriend the wrong dude.”
“Aah,” Draco murmured quietly as things suddenly made sense. His mother had always without fail been scarily in turned with his emotional state.
“She thought that you might be struggling with your circumstance and asked if I was in town. Luckily, I am. In fact, my entire team is in town, as the bank is trying to determine what to do with us. Apparently, Ragnok’s sister Ulnus has had some pretty freaky visions lately that have him concerned. What that has to do with us, I’m not sure. But I go where they tell me.”
Draco heard Hermione giggle and couldn’t help but let his gaze drift away from Mercury and over to where his mate sent with Granger, no it was Ross now Draco reminded himself. “It’s not the same you know.” Mercury threw out, and Draco turned to glare at the other man.
“OK, ok…. Sorry. I’ll stop being an annoying dickhead and just lay things out. I forget some of you Brits are all stiff upper lip and shit. So, here’s what I know. Your mother and my dad are friends through some charities and boards that they are both on. Because of that, she told him all about what is going on with you and your dad and Harry over there to try and get my dad, Sterling Barrows if you didn’t know, to side with you guys. I guess she’s been worried because you didn’t seem to be taking this whole, time travelling thing well, which can I just say no shit? I mean, who would? One of the things though that she suspects that you’re worried about is the gap between physically 13-year-old you with a 30 year old’s mind and memories and your friends who are all normal 13 year olds all around. So, she reached out to pops to see if he had any ideas, and he thought that maybe what you needed were some friends closer to your true mental age. So, since I am the closest to understanding your circumstances outside the mind fuck that is time travel, they asked me to come over and see if we might strike up a friendship.”
“What circumstances are there beyond the mind fuck that is time travel as you put it?” Draco asked lifting an eyebrow. In response, Mercury held up a hand lifting fingers one at a time as he went through his list.
“I thought that I did this but let me try again. You and I both are heirs to important houses. While the House of Malfoy isn’t exactly on the same level as the House of Barrows, it isn’t anything to sneeze at either, and your mom said something about the possibility of Merlin’s house? Is that for real? Anyway, secondly, we both have creature blood from our parents. I am a born werewolf thanks to pops. Your mom said that both her and your dad have Veela blood and that’s why your Veela heritage has kicked in. We both have huge expectations laid on us by people who know nothing about us but assume that because they think that they know our fathers, that they must know us. Lastly, we both have parents that we aren’t particularly fond of, or at the very least have a strained relationship with.”
“Hmm,” Draco gave in lieu of response as he tried not to look back at Harry and Hermione again, as the pain of missing Pansy grew practically by the second.
“Have you ever lost everything? And I don’t mean just once, but multiple times? Has your father ever been such a complete piece of shit that he basically sold you to an insane megalomaniac just to save his own arse, even though he knew that it would ruin your life? Have you ever been thrust back in time against your will and dropped back into a situation that you barely survived the first time to save people who wouldn’t have spit on you if they saw you burning alive no matter how hard to tried to make up for stupid things you did as a child? Have you ever realized that you have lost the sister of your soul forever, just because Lady Magic wants you to fix shit, and expects you to be thankful? Pardon me if I am rude and unthankful, but frankly, I don’t feel too awfully pleased at what has been demanded of me without so much as a would you mind, love?”
“No,” Mercury admitted softly, and Draco looked toward the fire in an attempt not to stare at the love sofa where he could hear quiet crying again. “No, I don’t know what any of that is like, and to be frank, it’s a load of shit that they’ve done that to you without even asking. I can’t imagine anything in the world that is worth what’s been taken away from you against your will. The only thing I have to say though is that all that you lost doesn’t mean that you can’t build something equally as wonderful here. I mean, with all the changes that you guys will be making, it isn’t like things are going to be the same. Those relationships from before never had a chance of surviving in the same way, even if they’d sent all of your old friends back with you.
“I mean, I don’t know as much about Veelas as I should, but I do know a thing about the forever kind of mates, because that’s what werewolves have. We mate once and that’s it. It’s why I’m in no rush to get there. Its why my pops isn’t in a rush to try again, because he thought he’d found that, only it turned out that the woman he thought he knew was a lying, money hungry hag who bailed the second she found out her baby had a little hair issue.
“The thing is that this time around, you have something that no one can take away from you, and you have something to offer Harry that no one, not even Hermine can offer him. You are his mate. You are his forever. You are the one constant in his life, and he is yours. Maybe he’s with her tonight because she’s had a horrible shock and he’s the only one that she thought she still had, but that connection they have isn’t the same as what he had with her before any more than your connection with your friends is the same. Your mom said something about her really being someone else, but she was de-aged and then had her mind wiped, which is horrible, but… it’s not what you and Harry are going through. It doesn’t even come close.”
“What if he doesn’t really need me?” Draco whispered, and he could hear how broken he sounded and hated it. Sometimes it really sucked letting himself feel these emotions things. “What if he realizes that he can’t overcome all of the horrible things that I did to him and his friends the first time around? What if I end up alone forever? How could they do this to me and not even ask? When does Lucius get to stop running my life?”
“I am so sorry, my child,” Draco heard, and lifting his eyes from the floor saw a beautiful and exotic looking woman standing in front of him. From the tears in her eyes, he could tell that she was upset at the words he’d spoken, and despite knowing exactly who she was, he couldn’t feel bad about speaking them.
“I don’t mean to sound petulant, but sorry doesn’t fix the fact that I feel like I keep losing everything over and over and over again. When does it stop? Am I to be tortured forever? I serve you faithfully, and honestly, had you asked I would have agreed. I just… I’m so tired of being lonely and in pain.”
“No,” Lady Magic promised before moving to kneel down in front of him. “You have my vow, it won’t hurt forever, and no matter how hopeless it feels right now, I would not send you back if I didn’t think you could be happy. I would not do this to you if I didn’t think that your life wouldn’t be one of those that was better for it in the end along with the other people you will help. I sent you back, my child, because I trust your soul as I trust few others. You have, since almost the beginning of time, been one of my favorite and most trusted souls. I love you and Harry as I love little other of my children. I can feel how badly it hurts you now, and trust me James Potter is up there throwing the fit of all fits right now.”
Draco lifted an eyebrow and tried to remain properly calm at least outwardly besides that. The problem was that all of his emotions were too close to the surface, and he couldn’t stop the giggle that escaped. “Seriously?”
“You would think that he was the one running things, not me. Even Lily is afraid to go near him and has hidden in Merlin’s lab! I’ll be honest. If he didn’t make me feel so horrible about the whole thing, I would be impressed. Several options were thrown around including giving your Pansy the memories of before…”
“No,” Draco said immediately and firmly. “No, I won’t do that to her. I won’t have her remember what happened to us all the first time around. She’s a seer. She’s a true seer and I won’t have those memories interfering with her gift, and there’s no way that they couldn’t. I love her too much to take her gift away from her. It means everything to her. She is a true disciple of Morgana Le Fay and she is dedicated in her devotion to her. She believes that she is Morgana’s true next heir, and it would crush her completely if that doesn’t come true. Should we give her those memories and she not get that inheritance because we interfered it would damage our friendship beyond repair. No, as much as it hurts to know I lost the sister of my soul, I suppose that I have hope to be reunited with her in my next lifetime and will just have to make the best of this one as I can.”
“If it helps, I think that you will find yourself with an amazing and wide-ranging circle of friends in the end,” Lady Magic promised gently shooting a look at Mercury who just grinned unrepentantly.
“This one might be a handful, and frankly is crap at first introductions. He forgets that every first meeting isn’t an opportunity to get into someone’s pants. Not that he’d try to get into the pants of a 13-year-old because if he was that kind of scumbag, I’d just smite him where he sat instead of let him near my precious child. As it is, I think your mother made a good choice, and I think that you will find that he will bring to you friends who will stay with you and fight with you for the rest of your life.
“I can’t change what happened, the reasoning for sending you back still remains. What I can do is encourage you to take advantage of this second chance. To help with that I have… tweaked some things so that it will be easier for you to handle being around children all of the time. When you wake up tomorrow your magic will not be what it was today. The knowledge will still be in your head. I can’t take that away without taking away memories that you need to complete your task. School will still be vital though because you will need to relearn how to perform some things, despite having the how to knowledge still in your head. This will also give you the chance to do things you want this time around, instead of doing what your father wanted. Like trying for that curse breaking and potions combination masteries that you wanted to do but Lucius frowned upon.
“I’ve also started to introduce you to some older than you people but not so old that you feel like you’re hanging out with your parents. They are all people that will hold your confidence, and who will be there when you need to be around people your true mental age. Just remember that eventually you will get beyond where you were, my child. When that happens, I have every faith that your life will be a thousand times better than it was previously. As time goes by the pain of what you lost will dull, no matter how impossible that feels right this moment. Until then, trust that I love and care for you. Trust that your mate loves you completely and unconditionally, always. Trust that the people that you will draw to you whether they are 13 or 25 or 45 all have the same goal as you do. Defeat Tom Riddle. Defeat Albus Dumbledore. Make Magical Britain a better place for all.”
“I will do my best, my Lady,” Draco promised feeling much calmer and more settled about his fate than he had before. It was hard to rage against his situation when he had the Lady herself kneeling in regret in front of him. When it came right down to it, honestly, he really had no choice. He could either be miserable for the rest of his life, or he could trust that his Lady truly had his back, and that She would see to it that things worked out for him. He just had to keep reminding himself of it until it sank in. Hopefully it didn’t take long.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
It was late at night and Draco should be sleeping, but there was too much going on in his head to rest. So, instead he was down in his potions lab working on some experiments that he was fiddling with. Two were ones that he had completed work on but weren’t widely distributed yet. The one that he felt most important had been something that he’d begun work on during his potions mastery training, but hadn’t quite completed to his satisfaction. It was a potion that could be cheaply and easily made so that people could have it on hand in a battle situation.
The potion itself worked as a rapid sealing agent in the field to stem bleeding until you could get the victim to a healer or mediwitch for more in-depth assistance. Too many people had bled out because there just wasn’t a powerful enough spell or potion that could be used quickly to heal the worst of the cutting curses. It was important to Draco though as he’d seen a great need for it after the war amongst those that had fought on both sides. Too many people lost loved ones unnecessarily in Draco’s opinion because they simply bled out.
“What is it that you are working on in here, brat? I’ve been trying to figure it out, but none of the potions look familiar too me.”
Holding up a finger, Draco continued his stirring for three more minutes and until he got to the point where the potion needed to rest. Quickly and easily, he put his potion in stasis and only once he was done did he turn to address his Godfather. “I did not think that you were supposed to be up yet. Does Remus know that you are up out of bed?”
“The full moon is in a few days, and he’s exhausted. Do not think that you can distract me by changing the subject. Tell me what you are doing.”
Smiling, Draco waved his Godfather over and over to the silver cauldron that held lime green potion that was bubbling away. “This one is a potion that heals the physical damages done by the cruciatus curse. Once the physical damage is healed, there is often still mental issues that have to be worked though, the team that I worked with determined that a potion could not heal such things permanently.”
Draco watched as Severus approached the cauldron inspecting the contents and demanded that Draco walk him thought each step precisely. So happy to have his Godfather’s attention, Draco didn’t even mind as he was grilled multiple times over each step and expected to defend his choice rather than something else. It wasn’t afterall a process that he was unfamiliar with, as he’d been going through it with the two potions that had been waiting for approval in the first timeline.
Once they were done with the first potion, Draco led Severus to the second potion, which was a red potion and was about halfway through its process. Draco didn’t have enough of one of the potions ingredients however, and was waiting on a shipment from a reliable supplier. In the future, he’d gotten his supply from Neville Longbottom, who had grown the plant in his greenhouses specifically for Draco. Despite knowing Nagini was nothing but evil at that point, having to kill her and knowing that she’d at one point been a living woman had left a scar on him. Thus, he had partnered with Draco to work on the potion that Severus was studying.
“You are looking at the Snape Anti-Venom Potion. It is a generalized potion that works to keep the victim alive until they can get to a hospital to be treated. The idea is that after taking the potion, the victim is put in a stasis, and while there the potion begins work to counter the common issues with snake bites.”
“Brat,” Severus said as he turned to eye Draco.
“I will not lose you again to that snake, Severus. It will not happen. Riddle is not going to take your defection well. People underestimate how much stock he put in having his own world class potions master at hand. One of the other things we were working on was a cure for the Maledictus curse.”
“That is impossible,” Snape said immediately and Draco just arched an eyebrow at him.
“I hear that a lot. I have yet to let it stand in my way. Luna and her beau Rolf were quite passionate about the subject. Rolf was particularly horrified as to what Riddle had been allowed to do to Nagini. I am not saying that it is a guarantee, but I won’t stop trying to work on it just because people tell me that it’s impossible. The cruciatus healing potion and the anti-venom potion were going through their final steps of approval when I got sent back in time. I think the issue with the Maledictus curse is that I don’t have the proper knowledge set to understand things. It’s part of why I wanted to combine a potions mastery with a curse breaking mastery. Unfortunately, because of my reputation after the war and the limits set upon me by the Ministry, curse breaking was an occupation that was off limits to me.”
“I hate that you had to go through all of that,” Severus said as he moved to sit on the stool in front of the remaining potion that he was actively working to re-create. “And this one?”
“That is a potion that I can’t quite get right, and I am finding it frustrating. I refuse to give up though. It is a potion that acts as a temporary aid to stop the bleeding from cutting curses until the victim can get to a healer or mediwitch. The problem is that I want it to be widely available and able to be cheaply made. The goal is that everyone who needs it have access to it, but I am having trouble getting it to an acceptable point without exceeding the price point or time limit I would like.”
“How long have you been working on this one?” Severus asked asked as he turned to look at Draco, who huffed.
“I started working on the issue during my potions mastery training. As I said when I came back in time I was still trying to fix things. So, more than a decade. It is quite… vexing if I do say so. Too many people died though that could have been saved if they’d only had more time. Muggles have similar things available to them, and I was attempting to recreate them in the magical world.”
“You carry a heavy burdeon on your shoulders, child,” Severus observed quietly, but Draco could only shrug knowing that it was true. “Tell me what has you so bothered. Your mother says that you have become distant from your friends, and thinks that it’s the time travel.”
“Every time I look at Vincent, I see him in the room of requirement before he is burned alive and know that it was my fault he was there. Yes, his father was a horrible person and wanted his son to be an equally horrible person. Just as Theo’s father and Greg’s father and Pansy’s father all wanted them to be horrible people. Every time I look at Greg, I see the damnation in his eyes for losing Vince. It was something that he never got over, and I am not sure he ever would. I don’t think any of us clearly understood how connected those two were or how dependent on each other they were. I look at the guys here within the house and I see happy 13 year olds playing exploding snap and I don’t remember ever being that happy or care-free and I don’t know how to be that person anymore. Lady Magic herself appeared to me in my study tonight when I was seething with jealously over Harry and Hermione’s friendship knowing that my friendship with Pansy will never ever be the same and that hurts in a way that I simply do not have the words to express.
“I am this adult man stuck in a child’s body who has to relive the worst years of his life. I know that there are differences this time. I have Harry. I have you back and this time I will continue to have you in my life. Father isn’t going back to Riddle, and I won’t be forced to take the Dark Mark to keep my family alive. I just…”
“It is hard to get over a loss like you have suffered,” Severus said quietly. “I have mourned the loss of a friend since the day that she died, and some days it still feels as fresh as it did the day it happened. What I do not want for you though is for you to become me because you can’t get past your grief. I am not saying that you are at that point now. To be honest, I think that you are being much too hard on yourself. You’ve only been back a short period of time and have been pushing yourself constantly since you came back. You need to give yourself time to adjust to your new circumstances and let me be clear that despite going back in time these are new circumstances. Similar situations maybe, but new circumstances. Ripples have consequences. Just… don’t give up on your friends in this time and place because you can’t get over the friends you lost in your previous time and place.”
“You always understand,” Draco murmured quietly. “I wish Lucius did, and I know he’s trying this time around, but I just… I don’t know how to trust that he won’t just find a way to twist this new path to suit his wants and needs, when what Lady Magic wants and needs from him is for him to be looking out for other people this time around.”
“I know that people look at you and see your father, but you have always been more your mother’s child than his. Your heart is too gentle, and your soul is too pure for you to be anything like him. The problem with Lucius is that he did not have a Narcissa to temper his father’s ways. Your grandmother was a weak willed and malicious woman who never thought of anyone but herself, or so Narcissa tells me. She died during Lucius’ seventh year, and according to your mother, he did not mourn her death one bit. She was a cold woman who raised a cold son, and Lucius has never been able to figure out that the world does not revolve around him. I only hope that James’ little talk with him has given Lucius enough insight that he does not become another problem that we have to deal with.”
“We?” Draco questioned, as he finished cleaning up his work area, and leaned against his counter.
“Yes, we, brat. I have no intention of letting you or any of the other children to win this war for me. If I had my druthers, you would all sit it out entirely and I care not that mentally you are a fully grown man. I certainly will not be depending on Harry to kill Riddle for us and if Dumbledore tries to manipulate Harry any further, he will find out that he has to go through quite a few adults this time to get to him. None of us are willing to let Harry be the one to kill Riddle.”
“I think the most pressing thing that needs to change is the Tri-wizard tournament that happened in our fourth year. That needs researched thoroughly so that if Harry’s name does get submitted again, we know how to get him out of it. Although, I am not convinced that it would have made a difference if Harry was not there. Hermione and I debated the topic to death and could never come to an agreement as to if Harry specifically was needed to resurrect Riddle. I say no and that it was only his own vanity that required Harry to be there, but Hermione thinks that Harry was needed because of the altercation when Harry was a baby.”
“It is something to think on,” Snape admitted looking to be deep in thought, and Draco knew that his Godfather would do whatever he could to help him keep Harry safe and out of that tournament. “We will need to research that whole event heavily. Are you feeling any more settled about your friends?”
Draco though the question through thoroughly before giving his Godfather a nod. “I think so. Between you and Lady Magic, I think I feel enough at ease that I can still have my friends, even if our relationships will be changed. I just feel this clock running in my head, and I think it’s making me anxious.”
“Pressing yourself will do none of us any good,” Snape pointed out before standing. He then came over to stop in front of Draco and rested his hands on his Godson’s shoulders. “This does not need to be fixed tomorrow or next week or even in this year. We have things that we need to get done and getting rid of the horcruxes is at the top of our to do list. That way once Riddle is back, he is already vulnerable to death. Now, I want you to go upstairs and try and take a nap. I can tell that you haven’t slept much if at all. You have a long day at the bank, and you need to be rested to help Harry through everything that needs to get done. I will not let you forget about yourself and your health in all of his, Draco. The whole world is not resting on your shoulders, even if it feels like it is, and I will not lose you because you are too worn down from ill health.”
“Yes, Sevy,” Draco murmured before getting a kiss on his forehead and being sent upstairs. As he travelled through the manor to his bedroom, Draco once more swore to himself that he would not lose Severus Snape this time around.