The Decision by Cyndi Black
Summary: When Draco is unhappy with the turn things take after he takes the Dark Mark, he devises a plan to rectify the situation. One-shot, written for the Time-Turner contest at Harry/Draco.
Categories: Same-Sex Pairings Characters: None
Warnings: Slash
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 2076 Read: 1787 Published: 11/25/04 Updated: 11/25/04

1. one-shot by Cyndi Black

one-shot by Cyndi Black

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love time is eternity.
--Henry Van Dyke


Two months. Two of the longest months of his life, in which the minutes had passed like hours, the hours like days, and the days like weeks. He had known, when he came back that night, that things would never be the way they were before, and yet he had still let himself hope. He had seen he hurt in Harry’s eyes – no, Potter’s eyes – when he’d returned with the Dark Mark on his arm. If his plan was going to work, he had to think of him as Potter, not Harry. He couldn’t show such weakness. After all, a Malfoy never shows weakness.

They had spent the first two weeks trying to pretend it didn’t matter, growing increasingly uncomfortable with each other as the days passed, before calling it quits. Draco had quickly decided that this was not acceptable, and had immediately begun to formulate a plan to get back what he felt was now rightfully his – namely, one Harry Potter.

Time-turners were not unknown to the Slytherin. He was a Malfoy, for Merlin’s sake! He knew the intricacies of how they worked, and had made use of his father’s contacts at once to obtain one. It was at this point that he had hit his first snag. What to do with his past self while he rectified his mistakes? It had taken the better part of two weeks for Draco to admit to himself that he was not going to be able to solve this puzzle on his own, nor was he likely to garner much help from his Head of House, no matter how much Snape favoured him. He had finally gone, though grudgingly, to Dumbledore, and explained to the Headmaster his plan. Far from turning him out on his ear, as Draco had imagined, Dumbledore had listened carefully to him, nodding occasionally, that dratted ever-present twinkle in his eyes, and had then not only agreed to help him, but had laid out what Draco would have assumed was a well-thought-out plan, had he not witnessed the old man make it up on the spot. Barmy old codger he may be, but even Draco could now see why so many respected, and, yes, even feared, the man, and he was glad to have him on his side for this.

Once the specifics of the time-turner were worked out, Draco had been free for the last month to concentrate on the other part of his plan – spell practice. He knew, in order to pull this off, he had better be ready for anything. Now, after a full four weeks of pushing himself to the limits day after day, he finally felt he was ready for the task at hand.

Slowly, with a last deep breath, he pulled the time-turner from within his robes. Taking a quick look around to make sure no one was near, he carefully turned the time-turner precisely as he and Dumbledore had calculated. Time suddenly began to shift rapidly backwards, and the scenery around him began to shift. He closed his eyes as a wave of nausea washed over him. When he opened them again, he was standing outside of Malfoy Manor, and he could hear footsteps approaching. Knowing the footsteps would belong to his past self, he hurriedly ducked behind the nearest hedge until they faded and he heard the door to the Manor open and then close again. Walking carefully, ever alert for any movement, lest he need to hide again, Draco made his way up the front steps and into the Manor himself. He knew his past self would be in his father’s study just now, confirming his intent to follow in his footsteps, like a good little Death Eater’s son. So, instead, Draco turned to make his way up to the personal rooms, his mother’s room, to be precise, but not before stopping to place a large piece of gold foil wrapped chocolate on the table in the entrance hall. This was part of Dumbledore’s plan. The chocolate contained a powerful sleeping draught that would put the Draco from the past into a deep slumber long enough for Draco to hide him, take care of his own part of the plan, and transport them both back to Hogwarts using the portkey Dumbledore had provided him with, at which point Dumbledore would oversee his care until the two Draco’s timelines once again coincided.

Once upstairs, Draco paused for a moment outside his mother’s suite. He couldn’t explain why he felt compelled to tell his mother what he was about to do. She had never shown any sign that she was anything less than fully supportive of his father’s actions in following the Dark Lord. And yet.... here he was. He raised his hand and knocked. After a moment, a cool voice from inside the room called out, “Enter.” Draco rolled his eyes at his mother’s ever-present formality, and entered her suite.

Narcissa tuned from where she sat at her vanity to look at her only son, brush still in her hand. “”Draco. This is a surprise. I expected you to see your father immediately upon arrival. To what do I owe this visit?”

Draco kept his face set. “I’ll see Father in a moment. I wished to tell you first, as I may not get the chance later. I’ve made my decision, Mother. I will not be taking the Dark Mark tonight, as Father wishes.” He watched her carefully for her reaction, his hand on his wand in the pocket of his robes.

Narcissa slowly and carefully laid down her brush, and then studied him closely for a long moment, eyes cool and face disclosing nothing, before replying. “I see. Your father will be most displeased at this. He will disown you.”

Draco smiled wryly. “I think, Mother, when I tell Father this, that being disowned will be the least of my worries.”

Narcissa continued to eye him shrewdly. “You have come to this decision of your own accord? You have not been coerced in any way?”

At this, Draco gave her one of his rare genuine smiles. “No, Mother. This decision is my own. If I take the Mark, then I cannot have the thing that I want most in this world, and that is not acceptable.”

Narcissa regarded him a moment longer, and then her own face relaxed into a genuine smile, as rare and beautiful as her son’s. “Harry Potter.” Draco’s eyes widened. “Yes, my little dragon, I know you are gay, and I have long ago noticed your obsession with the Boy-Who-Lived, perhaps even before you, yourself saw it for what it was.” She nodded, and motioned him closer. “Come here, my son. I have something for you, a gift.”

Draco walked to her side, curious now. Narcissa motioned for him to hold out his hand, and when he complied, she placed a smell key into his outstretched palm. “This key is to the vault containing my share of the Black fortune. I have no need of it, as you are well aware. I give it to you. Your father knows not of this vault. I’m sure he thinks it has long been spent – just as I intended him to think. You have always been...different...from your father, Draco, and so I kept this from him, in case you should one day have need of it. It would appear that day has come.” She reached up, and laid a hand on his cheek. “Be safe and be happy, my dragon.”

Draco looked from his mother to the key in his hand, and then back again to his mother, unsure what to say. On impulse, he leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, and then turned for the door. When he looked back one last time before he exited, she was still sitting there, watching him go, her hand on her cheek.

When he reached the landing he could hear his past self taking the chocolate below him. This was it. It was time to face his father.

Draco made his way down the staircase. He found the past version of himself lying sprawled in a quite undignified manner in the entrance hall, and quickly hefted him into a nearby broom closet, and then made his way to his father’s study.

Lucius was sitting at his desk, looking over paperwork, as Draco had known he would be. He looked up as Draco entered. Blue eyes locked with gray as he looked up to see who had dared to interrupt him. When he saw his son, he raised an eyebrow at him. “Draco. I thought you were going to prepare for the ceremony. Surely, you aren’t going as you are?”

Draco took a deep breath. “No, Father, I’m not ‘going as I am’. In fact, that is what I’ve come back to tell you. I’m not all. I’ve changed my mind. I will not be receiving the Dark Mark at this evening’s ceremonies, nor at any others.”

Lucius’ eyes turned to ice, shooting daggers at his son. When he spoke again, it was with a slow deliberation that Draco knew from experience was never a good sign. “Indeed? And what has brought about this sudden decision, if I might ask?”

It took all his willpower to keep his expressionless mask in place as he answered. “That which I most desire will be lost to me forever if I join your Lord, Father.”

“Ah.” Lucius appeared to be thinking this over. Draco knew his father well enough to know that this was simply a delay tactic, meant to intimidate weaker men, and stood his ground. “And what, pray tell, would that be, exactly?”

Draco allowed himself a smirk. “No, Father. You’ve taught me too well to fall for that. ‘Never reveal more than you are willing to give up.’ And this I am not willing to do.”

“I see.” Lucius moved quickly, but Draco was ready for him. He quickly fired a disarming spell and a stunning spell in rapid succession at his father, running from the room even as he heard the body hit the floor. He ran for the broom closet, collected his past self, and quickly activated the portkey, and, within moments, was within the safety of Dumbledore’s office once more. Only when the Headmaster had relieved him of his bundle did he notice an odd sort of tingling in his left arm. When he looked, the Dark Mark that had marred his skin for the past two months was, indeed, no more. He looked up at the Headmaster, who merely nodded with a small knowing small, and said, “Go to him, Mr. Malfoy. You’ve earned it.”

Draco needed no further encouragement. He knew exactly where to find Harry as he rushed out of the Headmaster’s office. He didn’t even slow down as he headed straight for the Room of Requirement. When he reached the Room, the door was already there, just as it had been two months before. He took a moment to compose himself before turning the knob and entering.

Harry was sitting in an armchair before a roaring fire, waiting for him. He looked up as Draco entered, eyes full of both hope and doubt. “It’s done, then.”

Draco nodded. “Yes, Potter. It’s over.”

Harry’s face fell, and Draco wanted to kick himself for his choice of words. He walked over to where Harry sat, and knelt before him. “Harry,” he said, taking the other boy’s face in his hands. “You don’t understand. It’s over. I didn’t take the Mark, you prat.” He pulled up his sleeve to show his unmarked arm.

“Oh...OH!” Harry’s face broke into a huge grin, and he pulled Draco close for a celebratory kiss. There would be time for explanations and details later.

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