Rating: Currently R
Summary: When Draco Malfoy's mental health mysteriously declines, he is placed under the care of the only person he responds to: Harry Potter.
Warnings: (Future) Violence, rape, character death, mental illnesses (Dissociative Identity Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress, Paranoid Schizophrenia), slash, Pre-HBP
As Hogwarts sank deeper into autumn, Harry found himself desperate to begin learning the names of Draco’s personalities, but contrary to Ian’s claim, he had not received one. It seemed that Draco’s personality switches were intensifying, and often he did not even show any outside change when they changed. Harry recalled vividly one afternoon when he had been brave enough while snogging to slide his fingertips into the hem of Draco’s trousers, and the moment they took the plunge into Draco’s boxers, Harry found himself staring into the eyes of the child, who, disturbingly enough, moaned and bit his bottom lip. It had been the first time Harry had really touched Draco like that and, he had mused furiously in the cold shower afterward, likely the last time it would happen until Draco was cured.
Draco was becoming more and more upset over time concerning his situation, and the morning they were to take a private trip down to Hogsmeade on Dumbledore’s permission, Draco had spent the entire morning in bed, an utterly dead expression darkening his eyes. “Why aren’t I fixed yet?” he asked in whisper when Harry knelt on the floor beside him, and he met his boyfriend’s gaze. “Why, damn it?” He looked completely stricken in that moment, and he scrunched his face up to stop the onslaught of tears when Harry hung his head. Draco’s shaking hand reached out and seized Harry’s robes, and he pulled him closer so he could bring his fingers up and run them over the infamous scar etched in Harry’s skin. “I–we thought you could fix...everythin’.”
Harry paused–Draco’s final word was not spoken by Draco at all–and he looked up once more into the eyes of the little boy. “Ah, hi...” Harry said gruffly, not wanting to be visibly upset in front of this child, and he reached up to take his hand. “Guess where I’m taking you today?” He tried to be cheerful, as always, with the child, since he had never had a cheerful adult in his life. They grey eyes of the child lit up, and Harry was no prepared for the moment when the blonde launched himself out of bed and tackled him to the plush carpet.
“Hogsmeeeeade!” yelled the pseudo-Draco excitedly, and he jumped up off of Harry to bounce on the balls of his feet in utter joy. “Let’s go, let’s go now!”
Harry laughed, unable to keep from cheering up genuinely at the boy’s excitement, and he retrieved a nice set of robes for Draco. He was used to helping the child get dressed now, and he did not even blink at having to strip him nearly starkers to put on the robes, and he even brushed his hair for him. “Perfect,” he said, and he offered his hand to his boyfriend’s possessed body.
For once, he would have liked to have a normal relationship. He wished it were the real Draco’s hand he was taking so he could pull him close and tell him that Hogsmeade could fuck off, push him back on the bed and take those robes back off again and touch him, really touch him, without being interrupted by sexually abused children. “Can I talk to Draco?” he asked quietly, curious if he could actually live out that fantasy, but the child shook his head.
“No! Draco wants to talk to you, but I want to play in Hogsmeade and he can’t come out until then!”
Harry took an angry breath and tightened his grip on Draco’s hand lightly before he dragged him out of their rooms and led him through the corridors of the castle towards the Entrance Hall. He knew the child was aware of his anger, but the blonde did not seem to care as he skipped at Harry’s side, singing to himself a made-up melody. Harry watched him for a moment, then, “What’s your name?”
The blonde froze and looked at Harry, eyes wide, and he looked distinctly uncomfortable for a few moments before he shook his head. “I can’t say,” he said, his voice almost sounding like Draco’s for that split second, and he pulled his hand from Harry’s. “That’s...not how it works.”
“Well, why not?” Harry demanded, growing angrier, and the child’s eyes suddenly brimmed with tears, and he ran ahead of Harry. “Come back here, damn it!” Harry was so frustrated, and he chased after the blonde, taking him by the shoulders from behind and just moving to turn him around when he whirled around suddenly and gave Harry a blank, confused look. Harry recognised this look, this look of emptiness, of quiet surrender, and the Gryffindor wanted to scream. Instead, he heaved a heavy, furious sigh and strode on ahead of the paranoid schizophrenic quiet/panicky Draco. The Entrance Hall doors opened to dismiss the both of them, and Harry strode hard towards the carriage not realising that Draco stopped short three metres away from them.
When he opened the carriage and turned around, he saw the silent Draco frozen in terror with all the colour drained from his face, and he quickly rushed to him. “Hey, come on. What’s wron–oh.” He followed Draco’s petrified stare to the thestral drawing the carriage, and he slid his arm around Draco’s waist. “It’s a thestral,” he said quietly, and he brought Draco close to the winged skeletal horse, feeling the boy cringing and wincing against him. “It’s all right...He’s harmless. They’re invisible to anyone who...anyone who hasn’t seen death. He’s not going to hurt you.”
“Thestral,” whispered the blonde, and Harry gave a start at hearing this personality speak in something other than a horrified shriek. Harry reached down with his free hand and seized one of Draco’s shaking ones, and he lifted it to press those delicate-seeming fingertips against the stiff hair of the thestral’s mane. The horse exhaled and pawed at the ground but did not acknowledge them otherwise, and the trembling Draco turned to look at Harry with a gleam of a new emotion in his eyes–amazement. “Harry...Harry!” he exclaimed in a breath, and he grabbed Harry’s hand to force it into the horse’s mane, and Harry grinned full-on. He could not help it; this was the only sign of progress in ages.
When Draco was finished touching the thestral, Harry led him into the carriage, finding himself disappointed that this, the first personality he had ever met, had fallen silent again. The carriage started up, and Harry relaxed back in the seat, closing his eyes.
He felt Draco move beside him, but he was not prepared for the moment when the silent persona climbed onto his lap, facing him, and he opened his eyes to look up at him, shock written all over his face. “What’re you...” He trailed off as the other leaned in and touched his cheek to Harry’s, and he cleared his throat a little before his arms came up to encircle Draco’s body. “Hello,” he breathed into the other’s ear, and he closed his eyes again as Draco breathed against his skin.
“H-hi...” The voice was lightly hoarse, deeper than Draco’s normally was, and Harry knew he would be talking and getting responses for the first time from this personality. Wanting to encourage this Draco, Harry gave him the gentlest squeeze and kissed him just below his ear, feeling him shiver. “That...That feels good.” He sounded reluctant to admit such a thing, and Harry did it once more before he brought a warm hand up to cup the back of the pale boy’s neck. “Can...you see thestrals, too?”
Harry nodded lightly and moved his face to look this person in the eyes, holding him securely on his lap as the carriage bounced and rocked on the cobblestone path to Hogsmeade. “I can...I saw Cedric die fourth year. I...It was you, wasn’t it? Who appeared when your mother...”
The blonde nodded suddenly, not wanting Harry to go on. “Yes, but I...was not really separate until...until bad things started happening to Draco. I...” It looked as though it were difficult for him to speak, and Harry urged him on with another kiss to the soft spot under his ear. “I can cope when he can’t...When no one else can...”
Harry’s eyes widened, and he brought the other’s forehead to his. The carriage stopped, but he did not move, instead looking the other in the eyes. “You’re tired of coping, aren’t you?” Harry breathed, and he pressed his palm to Draco’s chest, over his heart, as the other nodded, tears in his eyes. “You don’t hear voices...You hear everyone else...You hear the one that– ”
“Yes, yes,” the blonde rasped, the tears spilling over, and he gave a harsh sob as Harry kissed his lower lip. “I hear him, I hear everyone, I...I’m so tired...I– ”
Harry kissed him full on the lips this time and felt him melt against his chest, his hands shaking as they clutched Harry’s shoulders, and Harry let him break the kiss to bury his face against his shoulder. “You don’t have to cope anymore,” Harry claimed in the softest tone, and he petted his back. “You can go back to being the same...You can, you know.” Harry was begging for a name, pleading with everything he was, so when the blonde pulled back and looked desperately into his eyes with the softest whisper of, “Abraxas,” and the body in Harry’s arms slumped suddenly and heavily, Harry thought he would cry.
“Abraxas, Abraxas,” Harry hissed, and he rocked with the blonde, feeling his body twitching oddly. “Let go, let go, Abraxas...” Draco’s hands rose suddenly to find Harry’s forearms, and when silver eyes met green ones, Harry knew he was looking into the real Draco’s eyes again. “Draco, you– ”
“I can hear everyone,” Draco choked, and he grabbed Harry’s shoulders forcefully, his eyes unreadable as he got close to his boyfriend. “I can hear...everything. Harry, I...” It seemed he could contain himself no longer, as he pressed himself against Harry and crushed their lips together in a searing, wet kiss, hands tearing at Harry’s robes, and Harry’s eyes widened as he found his bare chest pressed to Draco’s as suddenly as if he’d cast a spell to make it happen. He could feel Draco’s heart pounding against his chest, and together they stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like ages.
“It’ll...be okay,” Harry finally said incredulously, as though he had never actually believed it. He honestly had not, he realised, felt as though progress would ever be made, and it was apparent that the thought had never crossed Draco’s mind, either. In that moment, it was all so real, all so possible, and Harry knew.
It was worth it.
They spent the whole day together window-shopping, musing over Christmas and what they would get each other (horse spit and cat litter were the two claims), and after replenishing their stock of sweets, they returned to Hogwarts with huge grins on their faces. Harry was determined that this day could only get better, and so when they strode into the Great Hall for dinner, Harry sat down immediately in front of Ron and slapped a Chocolate Frog on the table. “I miss you,” he claimed matter-of-factly, and he leaned forward with a huge grin on his face. “A whole fucking lot. So please...Forgive me for being such an arse, okay?”
Ron stared at him as though he had grown a new head, and he could do nothing but nod, and before he knew it, his Chocolate Frog was eaten, he had a new card for his collection, and he had his best friend back.
Hermione could not contain her smile, and she looked over to Draco in wonder. He looked so...so happy sitting with Harry, his hair slightly windswept, and she knew then why Harry liked him. He was attractive, he was growing nicer by the day...Draco was perfect for Harry.
Need to catch up?
Prologue, Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve