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Series are multiple stories that go together; the order they are listed in on the tables of contents and directory pages are their chronological orders within the universe, not the order they were written or posted in. A tilde (~) denotes an original fiction series, while an abbreviation such as HP denotes a fanfiction series.

Harry Potter Fanfiction: What Nott Saw

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series HP Blaise and Draco

TITLE: What Nott Saw
CHAPTER: oneshot
AUTHOR: Ankh Ascendant ( setosgirl0 / neferseti0 )
DATE: 10-23-10
FANDOM: Harry Potter
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own Harry Potter, or make any money from it.
PAIRINGS: Blaise/Draco
TYPE: Hurt/Comfort? Romance? Darkfic?
RATING: T (R)
WARNINGS: torture
OCs: none
BETA: none
WORDS: 2278
SUMMARY: In their seventh year, the halls of Hogwarts are a dangerous place. Theodore Nott sees Draco ambushed, and Blaise come to his rescue.
NOTES: I had this story in mind while I was still writing Fever Feeling, to which (and also to Duco Draconis) this is a companion. Also, this is for the writing prompt “being watched without knowing it“.

* * *

What Nott Saw

Theodore Nott was not a memorable person. If asked to name all of the students in their year, all of the seventh years who weren’t in Slytherin would probably not be able to think of him – most of the school probably thought there were only four Slytherin boys in this class. Some of them might have come up with a vague description: “That short skinny guy with the dark hair,” or maybe “The quiet one”. There was no one who could have given a detailed description of him.

He was the sort of student who never volunteered in class, who never fouled up so badly that he would be noticed and never exceeded expectations enough to draw attention. When the students were paired up to work in class, he worked alone and no one noticed. Teachers never called on him; he was the sort that professors who had taught him for seven years would forget by the eighth.

He was an absolute nonentity at Hogwarts, and he liked it that way.

It made it easier to do what he wanted without being noticed – not that he used that freedom for the sorts of things most teenagers would. He wasn’t interested in sneaking out, pointlessly rebelling against the rules, meeting up with girls (or boys), or doing much that his classmates would consider “fun”.

He was not a social person. He had no circle of friends; he was cordial with Blaise, and friendly enough with Draco, and occasionally acknowledged the girls and his younger housemates, but he didn’t consider any of them actually friends. His “house spirit” was nonexistent, and he had never cared about Quidditch, or the House Cup, or the points they gained and lost each other, or any of the other team building exercises the school had built in. Likewise, he had no strong opinions on blood purity and felt a very dangerous lack of unity with Lord Voldemort – or with his enemies.

In fact, he had only one real passion in life, and that was watching people.

He had learned years ago that it was easy to learn things people didn’t want you to know when they forgot you were there. Death Eaters visiting his father, his housemates, even teachers had all let things slip in his earshot because he had made himself invisible. He had known about the Death Eater associations of the Malfoys and some other important families almost since he could talk, even though his father had for a time tried to pretend he had never been any such thing. He had known about Pansy’s almost monthly pregnancy scares since fourth year; he knew how Justin Finch-Fletchly had been playing girls from three different houses (no Slytherins); he knew that last year Harry Potter had somehow gotten his hands on a book of advanced and dangerous spells; he knew that Professor Snape was actually a good person; he knew that every once in a while Draco found some privacy and broke down crying because he was terrified his parents would be killed any day now. He was beginning to see that Neville Longbottom had grown into a dangerous person and none of their Voldemort-sponsored teachers had quite caught on yet.

It had grown harder to be invisible this year, though. The one thing that had made it so easy to become part of the background for the first six years of his schooling had suddenly pushed him too close to the spotlight for comfort – Slytherins had gone from ‘beneath notice’ to ‘to be avoided at all costs’. More and more his people-watching had to be turned on his own house because the sight of the color green, even on a first year, would send most students and some teachers scurrying silently away.

Still, he tried his best. He associated with Draco as little as possible – the Malfoy name was mud, and he was little better than a Blood Traitor now… maybe a good title would be ‘Blood Failure'; neither one of them needed the extra attention that getting chummy would bring. He spoke even less than normal, and always stayed in the back fringes of a crowd, even if they were just walking from class to class. His invisibility was mostly preserved. The teachers had stopped talking where anyone could hear, and students from other houses had started walking in quiet, watchful packs that weren’t likely to give him anything, but that was almost made up for by his own housemates. Their new-found prominence seemed to have emboldened them right out of their natural careful calculating; most of them now roamed the school in singles or small groups, loud, swaggering groups, cursing who they wanted and boasting about things better kept secret. As a group they were power-drunk and fearless. If someone had convened a court tomorrow and called him as a witness, he could have single-handedly sent ninety percent of his house to Azkaban.

There were a few exceptions to the dangerous mood sweeping the Slytherins – aside from himself, of course; he highly disapproved, but privately. Draco had become a laughingstock and the only Slytherin it was socially acceptable to ridicule or even attack, so he spent most of his time trying to be invisible himself, sometimes protected by his ‘friends’ but increasingly not. Blaise seemed to be his own normal self, and he at least refrained from wandering the halls and cursing people at random, although he wasn’t shy about using his wand on people who deserved it. To Theo, it looked less like he was caught up in their new freedom and more that he was playing his role of Head Boy perfectly. That quality made him very interesting to study… and much more “Slytherin” than the idiots like Crabbe and Goyle and most of their house who were either too stupid or too arrogant to keep from going wild.

He might have lost interest in people entirely if he only had the idiots to watch. They were shallow and uninteresting and tended to get on his nerves.

Luckily he didn’t have to. It was a solitary Draco he was following now, watching unobtrusively, as they both converged in the corridors to the dungeons. It hadn’t really been intentional; he had been coming from the library when Draco strayed into his path – probably, if he was being true to his routine, leaving dinner early to avoid as many people as possible in the halls. Where Gabbe and Goyle were, he didn’t know, but he could guess – either still stuffing themselves or finding someone to terrorize, and their absences was felt, at least by Draco. He looked uncomfortable to be alone; it was unlikely he knew he was being followed, but he was hurrying anyway. It probably would have been a nice gesture for Theo to step up and walk with him… but maintaining his invisibility came first.

Draco’s plan obviously hadn’t succeeded properly, because he ducked his head and hurried faster past the end of an adjoining hallway. As he passed a moment later, he saw the backs of half a dozen scurrying Hufflepuffs getting out of the vicinity. He doubted the Hufflepuffs would have attacked anyone, even Draco, but it was probably smarter for him to be over-cautious than over-confident. It was slightly surprising to see that Draco had learned that, though. The last year and a half had done very interesting things to his personality; he was an interesting study in his own way.

It was only a moment after passing the Hufflepuffs that he heard the screams.

They were coming from ahead, in Draco’s voice, around the curve of the hall that had hidden him. Theo’s first instinct was to run forward, and he did, silently… not necessarily to help, although he would, if it seemed that he could drive them off, but primarily just to see.

He paused where he just had his classmate in sight, and watched. The symptoms of the Cruciatus curse were familiar to everyone by now, and it was clear that was what was being used here with no more than a glance. He had collapsed with his robes tangled around his legs and writhed, his arms twisting at harsh angles to claw at the floor and the wall. There was a small bloody streak where one of his fingernails had been ripped out on the stones.

And he was still screaming. Most of the older students had experienced this curse – something Theo escaped by being invisible – and Draco had never borne it well. Professor Carrow had used him as an example in their Dark Arts class, and he was simply not a person who did well with pain. In fact, he was the sort who passed out after about a minute of it – a limit they were coming up on.

Whoever was doing this wanted Draco to suffer. If they kept it up, they might even kill him.

When he heard the screams begin to turn into begging for his mother, Theo stepped forward despite still not knowing who was behind the curse – only to step back behind cover again when he saw Blaise striding quickly down the hall with his wand drawn, eyes sweeping the area. He obviously wasn’t the only one to see him, because the curse ended quickly, and Draco’s screaming trailed into panting and choked sobbing. After a few seconds of searching looks, Blaise put his wand away and crouched beside him.

“Did you see who did this?” It was hard to tell from Blaise’s voice if he was personally concerned or just acting in his Head Boy and responsible house representative role, but he helped him roll over and at least gain his knees. Draco was crying, but he didn’t seem to have noticed that yet, and instead of answering he lurched a crawl-step away and retched.

Theo was wondering the same thing himself, though. In his brief glance down the hall, he hadn’t seen the culprit. It was always possible one of the Hufflepuffs had taken a shortcut and lain in wait for him… but he hadn’t heard any voice call out the spell, either, and two of the five or so students he would have said were capable of casting the Cruciatus nonverbally were sitting in that hallway right now.

Draco finished throwing up and collapsed, his arms and legs visibly trembling, into the fetal position. “Did you see?” Blaise asked again patiently, with one hand on his back, watching him with that intense look he sometimes adopted. It made his calm voice look like a lie.

It was possible, Theo decided, that he was actually angry at the caster.

Draco shook his head, and Blaise nodded to himself like he hadn’t really expected a different answer. “Come on,” he said then, pulling one arm over his shoulders and lifting Draco bodily to his feet. It was obvious he still couldn’t stand on his own; the hand he raised to roughly wipe the tears off his face was shaking badly. “You have to walk it off.”

Draco shook his head and muttered something that didn’t carry, but Blaise’s reply did: “Walk there and I’ll go with you.”

The promise apparently inspired him to try, at least feebly; his legs moved, at least, but Blaise was obviously still supporting most of his weight. Draco clung to him with a lot more strength than his legs seemed to have.

Theo found himself following them back toward the dorm. When they were almost to the blank expanse of wall, Draco tried to pull away on his unsteady legs and almost collapsed again. “I’m not going to be carried inside…” he argued weakly, while clinging to Blaise’s arm to hold himself up and being supported by the other.

“It’s fine, there’s no one inside. I just came from there.” Blaise put his arm around him again, and Draco let himself be half-carried into the hidden room.

He gave them a few minutes alone, leaning quietly against the wall, thinking. Someone had wanted him in agony, but didn’t want him to knew who it was… and they hadn’t cursed Blaise when they had the chance. There were a lot of people who would like to get off a shot at Draco, but that level of dedication required either a lot of emotion for the victim, or no emotion at all…

When he judged they had had long enough to get Draco someplace he could recover, he slipped inside. It didn’t surprise him to find the common room empty, and he drifted toward their dorm.

He could hear them fucking even before he opened the door, but he pushed it forward a couple inches so he could look anyway.

Robes were dumped in a pile at the foot of Draco’s bed. Was that what he had said – “I just want to go to bed”? To which Blaise answered “walk and I’ll go with you”? He wasn’t sure how the thought process that let you fuck someone after you had just been tortured worked… or the one that let you fuck someone after they had just been tortured…

They were half hidden by the curtains, but he could see enough of them; they could have caught him if one or the other looked over far enough. Draco looked a wreck, pale and sweaty, with his hair all over the place and his complexion ruined by the crying. One of the hands that clung to Blaise’s arms was still bloody.

But Theo looked at Blaise’s intent expression and could only think of him putting his wand away.

~end~

Series NavigationHarry Potter Fanfiction: Fever Feeling

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