Puzzles and Love, Chapter 18/? Title:Puzzles and Love, Chapter 18/? Author:blueskyecloud9 Pairings: Severus Snape/Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy Word Count:2,659 Rating: PG-13 Warning(s): Threesome A/N: Any mistakes are my own! Summary: When a 500 year old contract thrusts Harry, Severus and Draco into cohabitation, the two Slytherins learn new and intruiging things that define the puzzle that is Harry Potter. And Slytherins do love puzzles. Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Universe belongs to JKR and anyone she legally lets use them. Not me. Chapter 18
Harry began to breathe shallowly, the memories rushing in from where he'd hidden them. He didn't dare put them in his Pensieve, the idea of someone finding them terrifying. The tears at the edge of his eyes escaped and Harry quickly scrambled out of bed to lock himself in the bathroom. Casting a Silencing Charm quickly, he let the tears escape, releasing them from where he hid them every day.
Outside his door, Pansy Parkinson blinked, hearing the momentary sobbing before silence enveloped the bathroom, her own heart aching for her friend.
Pansy Parkinson was a Slytherin, and an excellent one at that. She was also highly observant. One had to be with her past. Severus Snape's judgment may be clouded by his negative perception of Harry Potter, but Pansy Parkinson was not deceived. Harry Potter was in great emotional pain. And Pansy knew who was responsible.
Now, Pansy was Harry Potter's secretary. Boiled down, her job description was simple: fix Harry Potter's life.
And like always, Pansy knew just what Harry needed.
Severus strode out to the library, his mind awhirl with the information that had just been revealed to him.
At some point he had apparently trusted Potter enough to keep a very important secret, while he himself could not. And Draco could not as well.
Severus stopped and leaned against the wall, trying to dovetail this information with the memories, perceptions and feeling he had. How? How could he have trusted Potter with something so important? Why? How much information…how many memories was he missing?
And why was it so important to Potter?
Severus could not perceive a situation where he would trust Potter more than Draco. It was impossible.
And yet it had happened.
Severus snorted, of course it had. Harry Potter made the impossible, possible, the improbable, probable, and the unlikely, a reality. He ought to patent it, Potter Voodoo, guaranteed to do the most ridiculous of things.
Glancing up, Severus was surprised to see his lover still home, pouring over numerous books at a table in the library.
"Draco? You did not go to the hospital?" Severus said, walking over to the younger Slytherin and laying a hand gently on his shoulder, caressing it gently.
Draco glanced up for a moment and shook his head before returning to the tome in front of him. "I owled in."
Severus frowned, "Draco, as important as it is to help Potter, you should not be—"
Draco shook his head, "No, didn't take the day off. Told them I was on the Potter case. Allowed to work from home." Draco frowned and noted something on a piece of parchment.
Severus arched an eyebrow, "Oh? Well, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I am, of course, less important than a book."
Draco paused and looked up, a sheepish look crossing his face, "Sorry Severus." Leaning up, Draco pressed a kiss to Severus's lips. A mischievous smile danced around his lips, silver eyes glittering with a teasing light, "I am, of course, simply returning the favor. How many times have you ignored me in favor of a book? Let me see…"
Severus scowled, "Shush Draco."
Laughing lightly, Draco returned his eyes to his book, saying, "What were you speaking to Potter about?"
Severus make a noncommittal sound, settling himself in a nearby armchair, "Oh nothing. I had a few questions regarding his medical file."
Draco cocked his head, pausing in his perusal of the book once again, "Oh? Why not ask me?"
Severus shrugged, "I wanted to clarify the situation for which he was in the infirmary once."
Draco nodded, "Did you get your answer?"
Severus pursed his lips, "Partially."
Draco nodded, his mind once again engrossed in the book in front of him, not really processing Severus's vague, half-answer.
Severus stared at his lover contemplatively, his mind once again returning to the photograph. Obviously Draco remembered nothing about the photograph. Yet, it would have been odd if Draco had no memories at all for that time period. So there must be something that Draco knew, or what he believed had happened then. The question was, how to draw the information out without making Draco suspicious. For now, this secret had to remain his. Draco could not know. If Draco did, whatever little maturity had appeared in Draco in the last few days in regards to Potter would disappear. And, with the circumstances they were in, Severus could not permit that to happen. They needed to work together with as much civility as possible.
Draco sighed, "I've been at this for hours. But I can't seem to find the answer."
Severus smirked, "I see you have completely changed your outlook on Potter."
Draco scowled, "I have not. This is a puzzle. A Healer's puzzle. I am simply intrigued."
Severus rose and drew Draco away from the table, "Take a break. Let us eat lunch, and then maybe the books from Gringotts will arrive. Perhaps the answers are within those books. Knowing what we do of Vela Lestrange, the curse is most likely very Dark."
Draco nodded, gently closing the book, "Potter?"
Pansy appeared suddenly in the doorway, "I gave Harry some soup, then gave him his potions, now he's sleeping. I'll cover his dinner, you needn't worry."
Draco blinked in surprise, "Oh. Okay." Draco ignored the twinge of irritation he felt at being so disjointed from the people who had once been his friends.
Pansy nodded before disappearing upstairs again.
Severus shook his head, " Somehow, Potter chose the most efficient and effective secretary possible."
Draco laughed, lacing his fingers with Severus's, "Must be the Potter Dumb Luck."
Harry opened his eyes. More sleeping? Was he ever going to be on a normal schedule again?
Groaning, Harry turned and got up, glancing at the clock. 3 o'clock. Wriggling his toes and fingers, Harry decided he felt better. Which meant it was time for a shower.
Thirty minutes later, Harry was dressed in deep navy robes and pocketing his wand, a piece of parchment in hand, when Malfoy walked in.
"Where do you think you're going?" Malfoy hissed, advancing on Harry quickly.
Harry scrambled back, attempting to put as much distance as possible between him and the glaring Slytherin, "I have to pick the books up from Gringotts personally. Some identification thing. So I'm going to Diagon Alley. And since when do I need to inform you of my comings and goings? "
Malfoy crossed his arms, his grey eyes glinting challengingly, and ignored the rhetorical question, smoothly saying, "And how do you propose to get there? You can't overtax your magic."
Harry licked his lips, "I was going to use the Floo."
Malfoy tapped his foot, "Oh really?"
Harry nodded, "I'm going to Floo to the WWW."
Malfoy raised his eyebrows, "Oh? And then you're just going to walk over to Gringotts? Disregarding the fact that you nearly bled to death last night!"
Harry rolled his eyes, "Careful Malfoy, you're starting to sound like you care again."
Malfoy huffed, throwing his arms into the air, "Excuse me if I don't want VIP patient Harry Potter dying on my watch."
Harry's face hardened, his voice cold as he said, "Healer Malfoy you are not responsible for me. My actions, my choices are my own and the consequences of them are my fault. No one else's. No excuse me."
Malfoy sighed and caught his arm as Harry brushed past him. Harry froze, every cell in his body conscious of Malfoy's touch. "Look, Potter…I'll come with you, okay? You really aren't in any shape to be traveling by yourself. And what if Vela shows up and reactivates the curse? I'd rather not be called in just to find you bleeding to death in the middle of Diagon Alley."
Harry took a deep breath, wrenching his arm out of Malfoy's grasp as quickly and gently as he could. "Malfoy—"
"An excellent idea Draco." Snape's voice came from the doorway.
Harry looked up to glare at Snape's dark form. Bloody Slytherins ganging up on him. This 180 change in attitude was throwing him for a loop.
"Draco can make sure nothing happens. I would accompany you two, but I must oversee a few potions that I am brewing." Snape nodded to Malfoy, the two having some super-secret-relationship-special conversation with their eyes, making Harry bristle.
Harry clenched his fists and growled, "If you must." Striding away, Harry headed for the Floo, Malfoy at his heels.
Draco wanted to bang his head against the wall at Potter's stubbornness. The idiot was going to get himself killed. Sometimes Draco wondered if Severus's question earlier had held any merit: did Potter have a death wish? Now, Draco may not like Potter, but really, the Gryffindor was being absolutely ridiculous. Going out alone when you have a Dark witch who thinks she loves you after you was just plain idiotic.
Sighing, Draco followed Potter through the Floo, landing in the back of the twin Weasleys' shop.
"—dear old chap—"
"—of your little mishaps."
"—Now are you?"
"Is Malfoy here—"
"—to make sure—"
"—you don't collapse—"
"—in the middle of Diagon Alley?"
Weasley Twin One and Weasley Twin Two spoke as they eyed Potter from head to toe. Potter rolled his eyes, giving them a casual yet reassuring smile, "I'm fine guys. A bit battered but Malfoy fixed me up." Draco raised an eyebrow, more praise? Hmm…
"Potter, you shouldn't be out of bed for too long. Gringotts then back to bed!"
Weasley Twin One suddenly turned and gave him a wicked smile that made Draco's muscles clench.
Weasley Twin Two slung an arm over Potter's shoulders, giving Draco a leering smile, "—always knew—"
"—were a kinky bunch!"
"Tying Harry to the bed—"
"—to have your wicked way with him—"
"—now are we?"
Draco's eyes widened, his cheeks staining a light pink. Blasted Malfoy skin, blushed at any little thing. Draco smirked, however, as he took in Potter's scarlet face.
"Fred! George! Stop! You bloody idiots!" Potter yelled, following the laughing twins through the door to the front of the store.
Draco took a moment to compose himself, trying to understand why the idea of Potter tied to a bed made him blush, and quickly followed. Stepping out into Diagon Alley, Draco realized it had been a long time since he'd been here in broad daylight. It was a bustling time, wizards and witches buying their goods…
"Bloody Death Eater!"
Draco froze, his eyes meeting the accusing angry ones of a nearby wizard.
"Shouldn't have let them go free. The Kiss would've been too good for him, if you ask me!"
"Contaminating our streets!"
A witch drew her children away from Draco's grey robes and his heart iced. After all this time, still?
"Draco Malfoy is a well respected Healer. Insult him again and it shall be me you answer to," came the confident, icy voice of one Harry Potter.
It was amazing how intimidating even an ill Potter could look. Short and pretty scrawny, still slightly pale from the blood loss, the wizard still had a powerful, frightening and yet charismatic air about him. His green eyes blazed in anger as he strode to where Draco stood. "Harass Healer Malfoy once more and I shall arrest you."
One of the wizards spat, "You're going to defend him? He's a Death Eater!"
Potter raised an eyebrow, and then folded his arms. "Really? And how can you tell?"
The man laughed, "The ugly thing on his arm!"
Potter raised both eyebrows, "Oh? And that gives you the right to insult him in broad daylight in public?"
The group of men nodded, smiling.
Potter's eyes turned dark and angry again, "You're forgetting that I am married to a man with that same tattoo on his arm. A man who spent over twenty years pretending to be a Death Eater so that Voldemort could be defeated."
The men froze.
"And what, tell me, makes you any different from the Death Eaters? The Death Eaters attacked Muggles and Muggleborns because they disliked them, hated them, and wanted them dead and gone. And you? You would attack Healer Malfoy here because you dislike him, hate him, and want him gone."
Potter leaned forward just a bit, "So what are you? Death Eater Eaters?"
The mean flushed.
Potter made a disgusted face, "And these are the people I killed Voldemort for. Pathetic."
Draco opened his mouth to deliver a blistering remark to Potter when the Gryffindor gripped his arm, effectively silencing him. "Healer Malfoy, if you would allow me to escort you?" Potter's grip on his arm was fierce and he was dragged, against his will, towards the bank.
Once they were far enough from the wizards, Draco spat out, "What the bloody hell was that? I can take care of myself!"
Potter sighed, "Yes Malfoy, I know. However, if I defend you, you're less likely to get attacked again. Snape wouldn't be happy if you came home broken and when Snape and you have a fight the whole bloody house is like a mausoleum."
Draco frowned and scowled at Potter, but they had reached the inside of the bank and he had no opportunity to make a retort.
"I wish to visit Vault 897."
The goblin nodded, looking at Harry over his glasses, "And, do you have the key Mr. Potter?"
Potter nodded sharply and began walking towards the carts, leaving Draco blinking before he quickly followed him.
To Draco's amusement, Potter looked pretty nauseous during the ride, murmuring about potions and something called roller coasters. Eventually they arrived at the vault and Potter climbed out of the cart, relief apparent on his face. The man opened the vault and then paused and turned to Draco, "Malfoy? Aren't you going to come in?"
Draco blinked, "…uh…"
Potter shrugged, "Just books in here. I thought you'd know which ones we should take back."
Draco nodded, following Potter into the open vault. There were shelves and shelves of books, they lined the walls and rose higher and higher, accessible by large ladders and a swiveling stair case. Draco gaped, "Severus is so missing out."
Potter let out a deep laugh, "Oh, Snape would love this, I'm sure."
Draco paused and frowned. How did Potter know that? Brushing the thought away, Draco moved towards the books, intent on solving his little Healer puzzle.
Harry sighed as he was once again safe within his rooms. Three hours alone with Malfoy was way too long for his sanity. Disrobing, Harry ensconced himself in his soft, comfortable sofa, intent on reading the book in front of him, The Intricate Mind.
Except, it was not to be.
A knock on the door alerted Harry to a visitor and, sighing, Harry said, "Come in!"
Pansy walked in, dinner in hand, smiling at Harry. "Harry, I brought dinner!"
Harry chuckled and waved her over, "Come, sit! You're here to eat with me? Saving me from Annoying Slytherin Number One and Two?"
Pansy chuckled and sat, quickly lifting the lids over their trays, revealing aromatic scrumptious food. "Chicken, vegetables, potatoes, and apple tart. Compliments of one Ginny Zabini and Molly Weasley."
Harry laughed and dug in, enjoying the quiet meal with his secretary.
Upon finishing the dinner, Pansy banished the trays and settled in next to Harry. Harry smiled, saying, "Thank you for the dinner."
Pansy nodded, bracing herself for the conversation she was about to begin.
Harry frowned, noticing the slight tensing of the Slytherin woman's shoulders, "Pansy? Is something wrong?"
Pansy sighed, and turned to face Harry, "Harry, do you remember how we met?"