Yet he caught himself wondering more than once how Draco was. Could he still consider Malfoy Manor as his home, now, that he had been raped and tortured there? How did he deal with it? He had said his parents had not once mentioned the event. How did he bear their denial?
Harry angrily shoved these thoughts aside everytime they occurred. Draco had made it quite clear that he didn’t wish to talk about it. And Draco had always been a nasty git, maybe he just deserved what had happened. But some nagging voice in his head told Harry that firstly, no one deserved this, and secondly, Snape had shown him that things were not always black or white.
And maybe… Draco had not sent him away from the start, always just after a few minutes of talk. Maybe deep inside he wanted someone to talk to. And maybe he just was not used to have someone to confide in. Crabbe and Goyle – they had never been the type someone would tell their sorrows. Pansy Parkinson – not really. And then Harry remembered Moaning Myrtle, and how he had found out that in Year Six Draco had often been crying in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.
Back then, Draco had no one to turn to but a hysteric ghost, and it probably had not changed a bit.
Harry watched Draco in Defence Against the Dark Arts. He didn’t look much better than before the vacation.
Oh, the new DADA teacher, Mrs Tingle, had asked him a question.
Harry blushed. “Sorry, Professor, I didn’t listen.”
“Oh,” she said pointedly. Looking down at him through her glasses, she said: “Do you believe Defence Against the Dark Arts is beneath you, War Hero and Chosen One that you are?” With a sarcastic sneer she added: “You must feel it’s a terrible waste of time..”
“Um, no, Professor,” Harry said, then looking at her thoughtfully he added: “excuse me, but are so somehow related to Severus Snape?” Snape would have reacted similarly.
She blinked in surprise: “Actually he was a second cousin, why?”
“Congratulations,” Harry said earnestly, “your second cousin was a very brave man.”
She smiled briefly, then said: “My question, Mr Potter, was, what is a succubus?”
It was only two days later when Harry passed Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom in a free hour. Would Draco be inside again? Well, it couldn’t hurt to take a look… Harry opened the door and slipped silently inside.
He heard Myrtle talking. “Why are you doing this?” she asked. But she wasn’t talking to Harry, but to someone sitting on the floor, leaning on the wall.
Harry took a few steps closer. It was, as expected, Draco Malfoy, who was looking up at him. “Potter again,” he said, “are you following me?”
Myrtle whirled around. “YOU!” she shrieked. She was not as positively disposed to Harry anymore since he had hexed Draco with a Sectumsempra. “What are you doing here! Don’t get any closer!”
“I’m not going to harm him!” Harry said appeasingly.
“Yeah, I’m doing it all by myself,” Draco said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
Harry stretched his neck to look past Myrtle. Draco was holding a razorblade in his hand. The other arm… he had shoved back his sleeve and there were red lines of blood on his skin.
Harry’s breath caught for a moment. “Draco…” he stammered. “Why?”
Draco smirked. “I guess Saint Potter never did something like that.”
Harry crouched down in front of Draco. Actually he dimly remembered, doing something like that, years ago. It was before he had been told that he was a wizard, when the Dursleys had been especially nasty to him, he had sometimes scratched himself until he bled. He had stopped doing that… yeah, when exactly? About the time he was 14, maybe, and not afraid of the Dursleys anymore…
“I never CUT myself,” Harry said slowly. “You feel…” Harry tried to remember, “relief when you’re doing it? Like things are easier to bear when you can turn the emotional pain into bodily harm?” Draco’s eyes widened, so he obviously was hitting the nail on the head.
“When did you…?” Draco let the sentence trail off.
Harry jerked his head as if to chase away an irksome fly. “Long ago,” he answered. “Can’t show you any scars, I just scratched myself till it bled…”
Draco raised an eyebrow at him. “What made you do that?”
Harry grimaced. “The Muggles I grew up with were not exactly pleasant people.” Draco looked blankly at him. Harry sighed and decided to elaborate on that. “I grew up in a cupboard under the stairs.” Draco stared at him in disbelief. “They told me each day what a waste of space and money I was and how glad I should be that they had taken me in.” Harry shrugged. “Could be worse, I guess, at least they never beat me.”
Draco looked surprised now. “Never?”
“Um, no,” Harry said, “why, did your father beat you?”
Draco shrugged as if he considered it of little importance. “Sometimes,” he said, “but only when it was necessary.” Seeing Harry frown he added: “Dad loves me, he just did it for my best…”
“No need to defend him,” Harry answered carefully. Weird, that all the years he had never thought that Draco might have abusive parents. Mutual hatred had made him blind. Harry’s gaze fell to the razorblade in Draco’s hand and the blood flowing down his arm. “Maybe you should meet Madame Pomfrey.”
“It’s just a cut,” Draco said.
“No, I mean…”
“What shall I tell her?” Draco interrupted sharply. “Excuse me, Madame Pomfrey, but I’ve been raped by five men and a woman, do you have a cure for that?”
Draco raised to his feet, rolled back his sleeve and hastily left the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.
“Now you chased him away!” Myrtle moaned reproachfully.
Harry rose, then said to her, “Yes, but you know what, Myrtle?” She looked at him questioningly. “There was at shadow of his old spirit.” Looking earnestly at her, he added: “Promise me not to tell anyone what you heard today! For Draco’s sake!”
Myrtle nodded solemnly.