"Lucius, dear." One look at her husband told him enough. Stepping through the window, he went to take care of Damien.
Narcissa gently gripped her son's shoulder, and the three of them floated down. As they touched the ground, they immediately whisked away. Time would be essential that night.
His uncle was going at it again. On some days it seemed his rage was kindled without much assistance. In fact, it seemed to erupt out of nowhere, with only one outlet, as usual. This time, his face wasn't the first thing to be hit. Instead, it was stomach, which made him double over in pain, the wind knocked out of him. He gasped for breath as the expected, but painful, blow made contact with his tender flesh. He didn't think his uncle would actually kick him in the stomach. But before he could lament his misfortune of being his uncle's anger outlet, another hit got to him, after he was roughly pulled up from the ground. His hair was grabbed roughly, and his face was pointed at the ceiling. His jaw bloomed in pain a moment later, and tears sprang to his eyes. He was confused and hurt beyond measure.
No matter what he did, no matter how hard he tried to pretend he wasn't there and be the perfect nephew, it never seemed enough. He was always the one in the wrong, always the one who got thrown around in the end, always the one who ended up getting hurt, both mentally and physically. Tears of unfairness started to leak out, along with the bitter tears of all the pain his body endured. But yet his face wouldn't be left alone. His nose instantly bled from the impact, and the crunching sound made him think his nose was either broken, or severely injured. Fresh tears started to fall, but the fist already found its next target. Doubling over as his stomach was once more beaten, he coughed, a sob escaping him as he fell to his knees.
He was left crouching there, his hurt and confusion going unanswered, as his uncle raged on about what a nuisance he was and how he shouldn't even be born in the first place. It was nothing out of the usual, but for some reason it got to him more, the wounds were ripped open all over again, made even worse by the watching figures of his aunt and cousin, mercilessly watching him, their figures seeming to laugh at him and mock him. As if to say he was a waste of space, as if he shouldn't have been born. But his uncle's tirade seemed far from over. He didn't even get a chance to crawl away, or to hide somewhere.
His face was roughly grabbed, and his cheek was struck, hard. He was roughly grabbed by his shoulders and was shaken within an inch of his life. His eyes were closed all the while, unwilling to endure more of the harsh cruelties. His eyes opened, though, as his uncle stopped shaking him around. He had a peculiar look on his face, as he stared at something. For some reason, that look chilled him to the core. His hands naturally cradled whatever his uncle was staring at, at the base of his throat. Somehow, he knew that whatever it was, it was important to him. Somehow, it felt as if someone important gave it to him. For one reason or another, he refused to give that one thing up to his uncle, even if it got him unconscious in the end. Curling into a ball, his hands refused to let go of the tiny pendant. But strangely, the hands weren't able to touch it. Still cradling the pendant, he wiped away his tears.
And immediately his breath stuck in the back of his throat. The face in front of him was one he'd never seen before. His uncle got mad lots of time, but this time, it was different. This time, it seemed as if all the rage his uncle could ever muster was gathered at one place, in one time. And for the first time in his entire life, he felt terrified. Not scared, not startled nor fearful, but outright terror. His heart seemed to stop, but only a few seconds later his entire body pumped the blood around his body, as if to carve the meaning of being alive into him. His blood rushed into his ears, blocking out all other sounds but his frantic heartbeat, drumming into his ears. The last thing he saw before he clenched his eyes shut was the purple face of his uncle, veins on the verge of bursting.
A moment later, there was only pain, as his body was thrown back by an unimaginable force. He didn't have time to breathe, to think about what was happening to him. His body seemed to be on fire, as his ears dimly registered the dull sound of bones cracking and snapping out of place. His breathing got stilted, as his lungs desperately tried to regain the air they lost, but were unable to gather back. A wheezing sound greeted his ears, as he tightly clenched his eyes shut to fight against the pain. It was just too much. He felt as if he was dying, as if his world only existed out of pain and suffering. He didn't even have time to sob or bemoan his fate. Silent tears streamed down and wouldn't stop. Nothing would stop. Everything was too much. He couldn't bear it. Maybe it was better to just let go. Of everything. The pain, the struggle…
But suddenly, a distant, pleasant voice rang out. Whose was it? More importantly, what was it doing here? Fear gripped at him. His uncle was still in the room. For some reason, he didn't want anything bad to befall the familiar, but distant voice. He wanted to cry out. To stop that person from coming closer. Tears of hopelessness were his only outing, as it seemed impossible to speak, let alone yell at the other person to leave. His panic increased as the voice came closer. He was waiting for the moment his uncle would rage at the other person. But such a thing didn't happen.
Instead, a soft hand gently grabbed his shoulder. It hurt. But it wasn't the other person's fault. Every ache in his body seemed to return, though the sensations seemed dull, as the warmth of the hand seemed to seep into his very being. It calmed him, even amidst the agony and confusion. He knew this gentle hand. He trusted it with his whole being, accepted everything it brought him. For now, it made his anguish disappear, though the pain was ever-present, throbbing in some places, burning in others and even making him hurt in places he didn't know he could hurt. Wanting to know who emanated such comforting warmth, he opened his eyes a crack. Immediately a cascade of light filled his vision, along with an angelic visage. A blond boy, probably his age, with pointy, otherworldly ears and eyes looked down on him with a most beautiful, yet tortured expression on his face. The halo of light gently faded, and Harry was almost regretful for its absence, as it seemed to work as a balm to his soul. Suddenly, he noticed he wasn't lying on the cold, hard ground in his aunt and uncle's place anymore. Instead he was lying on something soft and warm. He quickly came to realise he was lying in a bed, several golden-haired heads gathered around his bed. To his right, however, was and unfamiliar face. He instinctively scooted back to the person he felt most comfortable with, though his body protested in pain as he did so.
His mind still felt hazy and he quickly realised he was missing out on something. The people around him felt familiar, though he didn't know them. He felt confused and disorientated. Just hours, maybe minutes ago, it felt as if he was still back at his aunt and uncle's place. But looking at the people around him, it seemed as if he wasn't even living in the same world anymore. Though a lot of people knew about the existence of Elves, many had not come across them. Harry was one of them. Or, at least, he was until now. Eyes roving around the room, he couldn't find a single place to settle them on. In the end, he opted to stare at silver eyes, full of worry. "Who… are you?" Harry croaked, voice hoarse and brittle, as he still found it quite hard to breathe.
The beautiful silver eyes averted themselves, darkening a bit. "My name is Draco Malfoy. We've... known each other for a while. You're currently living with us. This is my mother, Narcissa, and my father, Lucius." He gestured at his parents respectively.
Harry still didn't understand. Wasn't he at his aunt and uncle's place just now…? Three of the people seemed to look like each other. But one person stood out clearly. Still unable to make any conclusions, he asked, "What… happened?"
Once again awkward looks were exchanged, and a heavy air settled in the room. And once more, it was the blond boy he was practically clinging to who answered. "You injured your head quite severely. The doctor here confirmed you have a concussion. As such, you are suffering from memory loss. I understand it must be hard to accept and deal with, but I'll ensure you, we will do anything to help you get it back. It'll just take some time. Even we Elves are slow at healing anything concerning head trauma, especially when it results in memory loss."
Heart beating fast, Harry finally took in the rest of his surroundings. Everything around him was white. The bed sheets, the curtains, the floor, even the lights. Though they were only lit dimly. Still trying to wrap his head around all of what he heard, he muttered seemingly insignificant words, though they were true, if not odd. "I don't… like it here." The room seemed to press down on him, all the white seeming to close in on him. Hospitals and infirmaries always seemed to get on his nerves. Maybe because he had once been treated there, when a wound was so severe they just couldn't leave it, and it resulted in an agonising fever which nearly killed him.
"Astral, can Harry be moved back to Malfoy Manor?"
The brunette bit her bottom lip. "I'd really rather he stayed overnight. But if it's such a burden to him, then I don't mind him moving. However, I'd like to monitor him over the course of the week, to know if his condition worsens or not. But I need both your and Harry's permission for such a thing, so you know he's being monitored. If that's all right with the both of you, and if you let me assist Harry in going there, than I guess I could let it go."
"What… do… you… mean with monitoring?" Harry rasped.
"It's just a spell that monitors your activity, especially your vitals. In case of an emergency, the spell will act up and let me know something is the matter. I'll link the spell to Draco. If, within the minute, he gets back to me and lets me know what's wrong, then I'll rely on Draco's judgement. If he doesn't get back to me, then I'll assume it's a high priority case. After this one week, we'll see how things will work out. Does that sound good?" She tapped her finger on her crossed arms, her face stern-looking, though it still held some compromise.
"Yes… thank you." Another raspy breath left Harry's mouth.
"Good. Let's bring you back to the Manor, then. However, I won't let you walk, so just stay put on the bed. I'll levitate the mattress so you won't have to walk. And your body doesn't have to deal with the strain of another spell."
Harry nodded, before looking back at the blond boy, Draco. "Will you… stay with me?"
The blond nodded back tersely. "Of course. You just stay put. It was pretty rough."
Before Harry had the chance to ask what happened, his mattress lifted off of the bed. Breath hitching, he instinctively grabbed the sides of the bed, and encountered the slim hand of the blond, who stood up next to him. "Don't worry. I'll be with you."
Reassured, Harry loosened his grip, though his hand still covered that of Draco's, not willing to let go of the familiarity. Feeling rather silly, being levitated on a bed outside, he let his head fall back against the pillow. Everything felt hazy and unclear. His entire mind seemed jumbled and disordered. So many questions swarmed his brain, so he decided to take things slowly. Almost automatically his head turned sideways and found Draco. Observant green eyes looked at him questioningly. Harry knew the other boy was special and meant a lot to him, though his amnesia caused him to be at a loss. Were they friends? He did say they knew each other and he was even living with them… But why? And how long has it been since he lived there? Tears of frustration started to gather in the corner of his eyes, and he pulled up the covers so his face was hidden, his hand leaving the reassuring pale hand of his companion. Covering his mouth, tears started to fall down his face, wetting the mattress under him.
A soft hand landed on the crown of his head, the only uncovered part of him. He didn't even need to guess whom it belonged to. At the very least Draco was someone he was comfortable with, something he had never been with anyone else, except perhaps for the old woman who had saved him when he was young. The long, pale fingers ruffled his hair and stroked his head, lulling Harry into a state of near-sleep, while his anxieties seemed to settle down a bit. The air around him seemed to become warmer than the air he was in just now. Wiping away the few stray tears, he carefully lifted the cover away from his eyes. Gentle grey eyes met his green ones. "We're home, Harry. We'll bring you to your bedroom now. If something is the matter, I'm just down the hall. There's a small bell next to your bed. Just ring it if you need something."
The levitating bed stopped for a slight moment, and so did the blond. "This room right here is my bedroom. As I said, just ring if something is the matter, or you can go straight to my room, though you shouldn't move around too much. Okay?"
Harry nodded silently, head and heart muddled. The matrass moved further into the hallway, until it stopped in front of the door. The blonde woman, Narcissa opened the door, and dimmed light greeted Harry's eyes. They stepped into the room, and Harry was gently levitated out of the matrass and into the bed.
"Well then. I recommend you lie as still as possible for a while, so your injuries can recover." Astral tapped a finger against her lips, her stern eyes focussed on the black-haired youth on the bed. The bun on top of her head made her look even more of a librarian. "Try to eat food which is easy on you, like bread or oatmeal. You may walk around for small bits, but don't overdo it, and try to step foot outside the bed only when the need arises. Try to have someone with you. It might still be possible that some bones aren't healed over quite yet. Well then, if you will excuse me, I still have some data I need to process. If anything is the matter, feel free to call on me." Her low heels clicked on the floor as she walked away, Lucius and Narcissa following her down.
Draco remained in the same room, ill at ease. "Would you like me to stay a while? Or would you rather be alone?"
"Please… stay," he croaked, wincing as his throat felt liked it was being stabbed by a hundred daggers.
The blond uneasily walked around the room. "I'm sorry I can't get you any of my mother's tea. It probably would be better for your throat. However, Astral doesn't want any interference from magic or the like, as it might interfere with the spells she cast on you. I can get you some water if you'd like?"
Harry nodded, grateful. Water sounded like a great idea.
Draco lowered his head a bit. "Then I'll be right back." He walked out of the room, though he didn't close the door behind his back.
Being left alone with nothing but his thoughts, he looked around the room. It did feel a bit familiar, though the room was rather bare. He had only just woken up, but his body felt like lead and his eyes felt as if they might close anytime. His head also felt stuffy, as if he had been listening to a lecture for a few hours. Though his heart felt a bit calmer, being surrounded by the people he knew he was familiar with. None of the Malfoys had seemed or felt strange or like he didn't know them. He did wonder how he ended up here, away from his uncle, aunt and cousin. There were so many things he wanted an answer to, now that he calmed down a bit. How long had he been here? What was Draco to him? Why was he here, in this house? As a stranger, an outsider? And what on earth had caused him so many injuries, even going so far that he had amnesia? His head throbbed as he pondered these questions.
Footstep approached the bedroom and Harry looked towards the door opening. A slightly out of breath Draco entered the bedroom, a pitcher of water and a glass in his hands. Placing the glass on the table next to the bed, he carefully poured the water into the glass. The pitcher was put next to the glass of water. "I'll help you sit up. Is that all right?"
Harry nodded. Draco did the same. Grabbing a pillow propped up against the footboard, he placed it against the headboard. Carefully placing his hands under Harry's armpits, he lifted him up bit by bit, until he was propped up on the pillow. Handing the glass of water to Harry, he waited patiently for the other boy to reach for it. Trembling hands tried to grasp it, but Draco carefully brushed them aside. "Here, let me do it."
Placing the glass against Harry's lips, he tilted it a bit until the liquid entered his mouth. Making sure nothing spilled, he carefully saw to it that the other teenager drank most of the liquid in the glass. Putting it back on the table, he helped Harry down on the bed again. "I'll be sitting in the chair over there. Is that all right with you?"
"Yes." The word was barely above a sigh, as Harry's eyelids seemed to droop. Fighting to stay awake, to ask the blond about his questions, Harry tried his best to fight off the sleep. However, the only thing he noticed before he fell asleep was Draco, just taking his seat on the chair next to the other side of the bed. The feeling of familiarity washed over him, as if something similar happened, him being nursed to health by the warmth.
Rubbing his eyes, Harry suddenly shot wide awake as lightning and thunder roared through the sky. He awoke being disoriented. The lightening, thunder and the different room he woke up in made his heart race. Looking around him, he noticed he was alone and the door was closed. With shaking hands he pulled the cover away and set foot on the ground. After a few attempts his legs were somewhat solid and he could move away from the bed. Eyes blurred, legs unsteady and nearing a panic attack, he fumbled for the bedroom door. His breathing was laboured, but he managed to open the door and stumble through. He nearly fell as his unsteady legs seemed to stop working and the darkness didn't seem to help his case. His body felt warm and tingly, though he didn't know why, as he only seemed focussed on getting to the door he knew about, the room with Draco in it. Trembling and stumbling, he made his way to the light oaken door.
Without bothering to knock, he opened the door and stumbled in. His eyes restlessly moved around, though he blindly walked into the room, as lightening flashed through the sky, revealing a half awake Draco, ready to step out of bed to get to Harry. He quickly stood up and moved to the swaying figure. "Harry, are you all right? Are you hurt anywhere?"
Shaking his head, he fell into Draco's arms and buried his face in his chest, hands tightly gripping onto the slender arms.
"Just wait a second, okay Harry? I have to get back at Astral or she'll come rushing."
The words flew over Harry's head, as yet another flash thundered through the sky. Yet more murmuring and words were said, though Harry couldn't make anything out. He was gently led to the side of the bed and was sat down. Draco took place next to him. "Did the thunder wake you?" Draco asked gently as he tried to peer through the darkness.
Harry's hand still latched onto Draco's upper arm, shaking lightly as he tried to gain his breath and formulate words. In the end deciding to just nod, he quietly sat there, as another bolt flashed through the sky. Grey eyes peered worriedly into his, before a hand reached towards his face.
"You can sleep here if you'd like." The softly whispered words were accompanied by a soft hand brushing away the tears on Harry's face. Feeling a bit startled, he instinctively pulled away a bit. Reaching for his face with his own trembling hand, what his fingertips encountered was the wet of his eyes. He hadn't realised he had been crying. Draco's hand wiped the stray tears away, before he pulled back the covers. "Here. I'll sleep on the other side. If something is the matter, don't be afraid to call on my again, okay?"
Nodding shakily, Harry laid down on the soft bed, heart calming down. As Draco covered him with the duvet, a quick flash of something familiar flashed through his mind, of him spending the night here after a nightmare. Following Draco with his eyes, he tried to figure out whether or not the picture he saw in his mind was truth or not. Lifting up the covers, Draco stepped into bed as another flash flew through the sky, lighting up the room once more. Immediately pulling the duvet up over his head, Harry tried to curl up into a ball. Tentative fingers drew around his shoulders, inviting him in. Taking the proffered warmth, he scooted over to Draco's side until he felt comfortable enough with another human's body, as the thunder seemed to keep on get worse and worse.
"Thank you," he muttered as the half-embrace lulled him to sleep. He wasn't awake for long enough to hear the reply.