HP/DM SLASH! This saucy, romantic comedy involves an angsty, suicidal Harry whose love life gets completely revamped by a sex-crazed, manipulative red head. Will Ginny mastermind Harry’s seduction of his one true ferret? Does she have her own agenda? Hmm, let’s think...
The War Within is RATED R and includes HARRY/DRACO SLASH.
This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling, and various publishers, including but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made by this story and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
CHAPTER 1: HARRY’S WAR
The story begins on July 30, 1996, fifteen minutes before midnight, almost two months after the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
GINNY – THE HOT DATE
It was a dark and stormy night. Well, not really. But the smog in London was so thick that it just looked dark, and quite frankly, Ginny was storming. She took out a map of the city and scanned it for the fifth time, trying to find the location of the stupid Muggle pub at which she had agreed to meet her Muggle-born boyfriend. Dean Thomas told her to meet him at Ye Old Geezer Pub in London at 11:00 PM; she was now forty-five minutes late and she still didn’t know where it was. He said something about it being near the Green Park Tube Station. Did he know how many green parks there were in London? How was she supposed to know which park he was referring to?
Ginny finally found the ramshackle joint located about five minutes from Buckingham Palace. She stormed into the pub and looked for a tall, black bloke with a goofy facial expression who said the word “cool” way too fucking much. It shouldn’t be that difficult to find him because everyone in the pub was over sixty and...
“Cool!” a voice exclaimed.
There was her man. Ginny approached Dean at the bar. He was wearing a beat-up West Ham football jersey and faded jeans. How attractive. Did he want her to start salivating now or later? Well, this would have to do.
“Ginny,” Dean said, glowing. “Did you get lost?”
Ginny glared at him. “No, I was just powdering my nose, and I lost track of time,” she muttered facetiously.
“Cool,” Dean replied. Ginny was about to give herself a full-frontal lobotomy.
“D’you want a beer?” he continued. Dean gazed at her adoringly. Ginny was wearing a black trench coat, but even all bundled up it was quite evident that she had blossomed over the summer. Her mousy hair was now vivid red. Her eyes were a captivating shade of brown. Her freckled skin was glowing. She was about three inches taller than Dean had last remembered, and her chest was... well... a lot more developed, too.
Ginny took off her trench coat and handed it to Dean. He gasped. She was wearing a hot pink, latex, body-hugging, strapless dress and a pair of matching platform shoes. Yes, Ginny had definitely grown up.
“Why don’t we go back to your place,” she replied devilishly.
Dean blushed severely. “Don’t you... uh... want to... have a drink and... uh... get to know me better?” he stammered.
“Not really,” she replied. This conversation was going nowhere.
“But, don’t you want me to... uh... sketch you on a bar napkin?”
Ginny rolled her eyes. “Hey, excuse me,” she called to the barman, handing him her fake ID. “Can I have a double shot of whiskey?” The barman nodded. Ginny looked back over at her hot date, rather annoyed. “Make it a triple.”
The barman took one look at the sexy redhead and her daft date and stated, “Sweetheart, it’s on the house.”
Ginny looked up at the clock. It was 11:59 PM. It was almost Harry’s birthday. Hopefully, he was having a better time than she was.
HARRY – HARRY’S WAR
11:59 PM. Harry was sitting on his bed in Dudley’s second bedroom. He stared at his clock impatiently. ‘How much longer was he going to have to wait?’ he wondered. 30 more seconds... 20 seconds... This was taking forever. 8 seconds... 6... 3½... 1. Then it was over. He was sixteen-years-old. Again.
Well no, it was not as if Harry had ever turned sixteen before. But quite frankly, he had thought a lot about it. Sixteen...
And then it happened. It started like a grain of sand lodged inside of a massive oyster... irritating it... infuriating it... gnawing at its core. The feeling ate at his gut and then it crept slowly up into his spine. Harry knew what was going to happen. He tried to repress it. Boys always try to repress these things. But the gnawing sensation continued as it crept up his neck, crawled inside his head and then oozed out of his right eye.
A tear. A solitary tear. It stemmed from a dull ache that throbbed inside. Why was he so upset?
Harry had wept for days over his Godfather’s death, but that was almost two months ago. He had finished grieving... hadn’t he?
Or was it the fact that he had finally lost Cho? Oh please, he knew that wasn’t it.
Well, maybe it was the fact that he was marked... a marked man... destined to die at the hand of Voldemort, or to live his life knowing that he had murdered He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. No, he knew that wasn’t it either.
Harry understood what was bothering him. He had tasted the sadness... the emptiness... for some time. But it was easier for him to hide in his accomplishments than to face his fears... his vulnerabilities.
Tears streamed down his cheeks. He tried to blink them back. He did not want to wake the Dursleys. HE DID NOT WANT TO WAKE THE DURSLEYS. What would Dudley say if he saw him like this? ‘Ooh, Boo-Fucking-Hoo. Is ickle Harrykins upset? What a crybaby.’ The thought made him cringe. He needed to snap out of this dark mood. It was his birthday. He was supposed to be happy.
Harry looked at his tear-stained reflection in the mirror. Where was his strength? Where was his bravery now? If he could defeat the Basilisk... if he could duel with the Dark Lord... then why couldn’t he control his own demons? He was a Gryffindor. He was The Boy Who Lived. Why was he dying inside? Of course he knew.
Harry never had a childhood. When he was fifteen months old, his parents were murdered by Voldemort, and he was dumped by Dumbledore on his Aunt Petunia’s doorstep to be raised like a caged animal, locked away in the cupboard under the stairs, so that no one would know the Dursleys’ dirty little secret. All those years of being hidden, Harry had just one wish, to grow up, so that he could finally leave this horrible house on Privet Drive and start a life of his own.
But now he was sixteen; he was grown up. And those tears... they were shed in mourning for the childhood that he had never had. For the years that he never spent laughing. For the days where he clutched a stuffed animal close to his heart and pretended that it was his mother holding him... rocking him to sleep.
Harry was devastated. He felt like a charlatan... a fraud. The Wizarding World viewed him as a mythical hero - The Boy Who Lived - but in truth, he felt like a failure. Yes, he had defeated the Basilisk. Yes, he had dueled with the Dark Lord. But he was also responsible for the death of his parents... the death of Sirius... the death of Cedric. And he had endangered the lives of all of his close friends less than two months ago because he was too proud to apologize to Snape and continue studying Occlumency.
Harry looked around the room. Why was he always alone at number four, Privet Drive? Well, his friends were probably having a grand ol’ time without him.
GINNY – THE HOT DATE (PART DEUX)
Ginny ordered herself another double shot. Her date was going so badly that she even considered hitting on the barman for a laugh.
“Hold still,” Dean whispered, finishing his elaborate sketch of Ginny. She glanced at her amateur portrait on the bar napkin – she looked like a frigid shrew. This was ridiculous! She didn’t come all the way to London in order to pose for bar art. Ginny turned to Dean, who was still nursing his second beer.
“Down it,” she ordered. He looked at her oddly for a moment, then complied. Ginny then leaned over and kissed him on his left cheek, leaving a red lipstick stain in her wake. He blushed.
“Good,” she cooed. “Let’s go.”
“Where?” Dean asked.
“To your place. Are your parents home?” she asked seductively.
“No... they... uh...” Dean stammered.
“Great, we can use their bedroom,” Ginny purred.
“Fine, we’ll use your bedroom... whatever... let’s go.”
Ginny grabbed the spineless git and led him toward the door.
“Ginny,” Dean whispered nervously. “I’ve... never done this before.”
“Virgins,” Ginny muttered to her herself. Why did she even bother?
Ginny looked back at her uneasy boyfriend. She grabbed his hand tenderly and held it for a moment to assuage his fears.
“Trust me, Dean, I know what I’m doing.”
HARRY – HARRY’S WAR (PART DEUX)
Harry gazed back at his solitary tear stained reflection in the mirror. He so desperately needed someone to be there that he imagined Cho standing at his side... stroking his unruly raven hair... dabbing away his tears. But she wasn’t really there... she never was.
Harry wondered why he ever decided to date Cho. He knew he would always be second to Cedric. Did he pursue her so that she would reject him? Did he need to be rejected? Would her rejection atone for his guilt about Cedric’s death? But that wasn’t the only reason that he felt guilty about their ‘relationship.’
Harry knew he had used Cho. She was a fake girlfriend... a waystation... a gaystation... so that he could preserve his heterosexual facade. She bore the brunt of his fears about his true identity... and she didn’t deserve to be treated like that. Hadn’t she suffered enough?
Harry knew that his charade could not last forever. The thought that he was ‘queer’ was terrifying and obscene, but it was time for him to bear his own albatross. Harry was now sixteen-years-old... on the cusp of manhood. It was time to muster the courage to fight this terrifying war within.
GINNY - THE HOT DATE (PART TROIS)
Ginny walked into Dean’s parents’ bedroom and surveyed her prey. Dean was tied up naked to his parents’ four poster bed; he stared at her, horrified. Ginny dimmed the lights. Hee hee hee.
HARRY – HARRY’S WAR (PART TROIS)
There was a rapping at Harry’s window. Harry looked outside and saw Hedwig’s beak pressed up against the glass. He slid open the window. Hedwig flew in. She was carrying a package for him.
Hedwig immediately landed on Harry’s shoulder and wiped away his remaining tears with her wing. She didn’t even demand any Owl Treats. Harry faked a smile. He really wanted to smile. He had Hedwig. He wasn’t completely alone.
And then he noticed the package sitting over on his chest. Harry ripped off the packaging, uncovering a silver box. He took the lid off and looked inside. The box was so full of mist that Harry could not peer in. Harry reached in and clasped his hands around a bowl which was filled with a viscous fluid. It was a Pensieve.
Harry grinned, already feeling better. He had always wanted one of these. But something was wrong; he was filled with a dread that he couldn’t explain. Harry had to read the card. Trembling, he opened it.
Happy birthday! You’re sixteen - a grown man. James and Lily would have been so very proud.
Harry, I know that I haven’t been there for you for most of your life, and it pains me to think that I have only known you as a young adult - that I couldn’t watch you grow up.
But I want you to know that the last two years have been some of the happiest moments for me. You’ve added meaning to my life, and you’ve given me a reason and a will to live.
Harry stared blankly at the card. He was devastated. Sirius must have written this a long time ago. Before... Harry braced himself as an avalanche of feelings crushed him. He wanted to scream but he was so anguished that he couldn’t even utter a sound. He had failed Sirius. It was his fault Sirius had died. And now he, too, would die... a marked man... a scared, scarred little boy... an orphan... all alone.
DEAN – THE AFTERGLOW
Harry wasn’t the only bloke left all alone. Dean surveyed his parents’ dimly lit bedroom, looking for his girlfriend.
“Ginny? Ginny?” There was no answer.
“I’M SORRY!” Still no answer.
“Ginny, my parents will be home soon.”
Suddenly, Dean noticed a red lipstick print that Ginny left for his parents on their bedroom vanity.
“Ginny, aren’t you gonna untie me? Can I at least have my clothes?”
Still no answer.
“Ginny? Call me!”
HARRY – THE MORNING AFTER
“BOY.” Uncle Vernon’s voice echoed in the distance. Harry woke up with a jolt. It was still July 31st. He looked around rather annoyed. Where were his glasses? Everything was a blur. Harry scrounged around the bed looking for them, accidentally stubbing his little toe on the bedpost. “Damn bedpost.”
“Boy, get down here and do the dishes. NOW.” Uncle Vernon roared.
Harry still couldn’t find his glasses. Hedwig hooted repeatedly from inside her cage, pointing her wing to a pair of glasses lying folded at the foot of his bed. Harry smirked. That was helpful. He could barely even see her. Why didn’t he speak owl tongue?
“And shut up that bloody pigeon.”
Harry finally found his glasses and glanced at himself in the full length mirror. He looked like shit. Absolute shit. Whatever. Harry threw on his jeans and limped downstairs. “Happy birthday to me,” he muttered under his breath. The light poured in from the outside, illuminating the otherwise dim kitchen. It was bright. Harry squinted. He must have overslept. The Dursleys had already eaten breakfast.
“What time is it?” Harry asked his Aunt.
Snarling, she picked up a dishrag. “It’s time for you to do your chores.”
Aunt Petunia looked at Harry. She could tell that he had been upset... very upset. That he had been suffering. Harry glared back with his brilliant green eyes. For one second, a look of terror flashed across her face as she looked at Harry and saw her dead sister staring back at her.
Aunt Petunia had never told Harry why she truly loathed his mother. Yes, Lily was always the pretty one... Daddy’s favorite... and of course, she received that bloody letter from Hogwarts. But there was more... Petunia had always envied her sister’s ‘abnormality.’ Lily Evans Potter had never settled. She had taken risks. True, they had cost her her life. But Lily had lived. She had had the audacity to live.
And now, Petunia was frightened by the look in her nephew’s piercing green eyes because it reminded her that she had settled. For Vernon. For this cookie-cutter house on Privet Drive. For their suburban life. For the world of mundaneness that she heretofore craved.
In that split second, Petunia actually wanted to touch Harry. She saw the desperation in his eyes. She lifted her hand to reach out to him. But no... she couldn’t. No... she was too proud. She would do no such thing. Not for the son of that... Aunt Petunia quickly thrust the dishrag into Harry’s hands and broke eye contact, turning toward the door.
“I... I have gardening to do.” She left the room abruptly.
DRACO – THE VISIT
Draco Malfoy had his own demons. He was a Malfoy. A Slytherin. A Legacy. The only heir to a Multimillion Galleon estate. There were expectations, of course. He was expected to marry a woman of pure blood. She had to be from the ‘right family.’ She had to be worthy of his name. They must sire an heir. A boy... just like him... to carry on the Malfoy name. He must settle for nothing less. He must be worthy of his father. He must be worthy of his family name. He must banish those other thoughts.
Draco looked across the icy waters of the North Sea. Shivering, he glanced at his watch. It was already 3:00 PM on July 31st. The trip was taking forever. What kind of cheap Muggle yacht did his father buy, anyway? The sea was so murky, he couldn’t even admire his own reflection. What was he supposed to do? Meditate? Annoyed, Draco glanced over at his mother. She was standing on the deck, obviously nervous. Azkaban Fortress was only a few minutes away.
Draco had never visited Azkaban. He had read a lot about it... out of morbid curiosity. But the thought that his father, Lucius Malfoy, was being held there like a common criminal was unconscionable.
Narcissa grabbed her son’s hand as the yacht approached a small island. Draco shoved her away. What was she thinking? He had turned sixteen in April. He didn’t need to be coddled. It was only Azkaban...
Finally, the island came into view. From the yacht, it resembled the Isle of Skye, complete with rugged mountains and enveloped in fog. Draco was relieved. Azkaban wasn’t terrifying after all. He definitely could handle this.
The yacht docked on the small, rickety pier, and Draco followed his mother down a cobblestone path to the entrance of the prison. There was a very high, steel door. Draco grabbed onto the handle to open it. It was locked. He took out his wand. Draco loved his 12 1/4”, swishy, malacca wand with a dragon’s heartstring at its core.
“Alohomora! ” Draco bellowed triumphantly. It was still locked. Damn.
Suddenly, a white, snowy owl soared out of nowhere toward Draco, dropping a large parchment envelope at his feet. The owl turned and zoomed off into the distance. Draco ripped open the envelope and read the enclosed letter. Double damn. He forgot about the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery. Fortunately, this was only his first offense (or so they thought). He would have to be more careful.
Draco decided to use primitive Muggle methods of getting the prison door open instead. “Hello.” he cried. No answer. “Knock knock,” he mumbled sarcastically. Still no answer. Draco tried kicking the door, but there was no response. Fuming, he turned and saw his mother snooping around. Then he noticed something bizarre. An old shoe was hidden under one of the hedges. Maybe if he threw it over the prison wall, it would attract some attention? Narcissa had noticed the shoe as well, and they both grabbed it at the same moment.
Suddenly, Draco felt a jerk somewhere behind his navel. His feet left the ground. He and his mother were being pulled upward in a howl of wind and swirling color. Draco was dizzy... nauseated. Where was he going? He wasn’t afraid. No, he was too old to be afraid. Then suddenly his feet slammed into the ground. Damn portkey... that hurt. Draco looked around in a terrified yet dignified manner.
Draco froze. This place was a horror. Bodies decomposed everywhere. People rotted in filthy cells. The stench was unbearable. His soul was slowly sinking into the miasma of death.
“Father!” Draco cried. He ran toward a cell in the northwest corner of the fortress. Lucius Malfoy did not look dignified anymore. He face was gaunt, his bones exposed; parasites were gnawing at his flesh. Draco was mortified. Where were the guards? Then he saw one approach.
Psychic vampires. Draco had read about them in The Daily Prophet. When the dementors had fled Azkaban, the Ministry replaced them with these emotional parasites. These creatures did not drink blood... they sucked the marrow out of one’s soul. Minister Fudge had apparently met with a coven of them in Bulgaria during the search for Bertha Jorkins. After the dementors joined Voldemort, these vampires agreed to guard Azkaban Fortress in exchange for the right to drain the life out of all who were imprisoned there. Dumbledore, of course, thought this was a horrible idea – which meant that Fudge had to implement it. And so, the vampires arrived in Azkaban in June, along with Lucius Malfoy and the other captured Death Eaters.
Draco was horrified when he saw his father. He clung onto his mother’s arm despite his pride. He couldn’t bear to see Lucius like this. His father... would die here.
Lucius wore a stoic expression. He gazed at his son. Their eyes met for a few moments. Finally, Lucius cleared his throat.
“You know what you have to do.”
HARRY – BIRTHDAY GREETINGS
It was 5:00 PM. Harry was still doing his chores when the phone rang. He looked around. No one was in the house. Aunt Petunia was probably out gardening, Big D was probably ‘having tea’ with his fellow thugs, and Uncle Vernon... well fortunately, he was out.
Harry answered the phone. “Hello?”
There was no answer.
Still no answer. Perturbed, Harry was about to hang up when he heard...
“Blimey, you’re supposed to speak into that end?”
Harry grinned. It was Ron.
“Harry. Happy birthday, mate.” There was a shuffle on the other end. Hermione wrestled Ron for the phone.
“HARRRRRRRRY!” Hermione exclaimed. “Happy birthday. Oh, how are you? We miss you so much. We’ve got to get you out of there. Let go, Ron. Have you been doing advanced preparation for your N.E.W.T.s? I’m already putting in three hours a day. Ron, don’t give me that look. They’re only twenty-two months away. Ron, let go of the phone. Erm... Harry, you won’t believe what is going on.”
Harry was very excited. His problems melted away at the sound of his best friends’ voices.
“We can’t. Dumbledore made us swear we wouldn’t.”
Harry frowned. Somehow he should have known that was coming. Harry heard Ron wrestle the phone back from Hermione.
“Harry, we can tell you one thing,” Ron warned. “You have to be very careful, mate. You’re in grave danger.”
“Let me guess, did you notice the Grim in your Earl Grey?” Harry smirked.
Harry heard a struggle as Hermione yanked the phone back from Ron. “Harry, be serious,” Hermione retorted. “We’re really worried.”
Suddenly, Uncle Vernon stormed in. “BOY. I WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS, I TELL YOU. GET OFF THAT BLOODY PHONE THIS INSTANT. I TOLD YOU TO NEVER ANSWER THE TELEPHONE. WHAT WOULD OUR NEIGHBORS THINK? WHAT IF MY SISTER CALLED?”
“I gotta go,” Harry groaned.
“Wait,” Hermione replied. “You’re going to be picked up tomorrow morning. Be ready.” She hung up.
Harry grinned as he hung up the receiver. He was finally going home.
HARRY – THE CHALLENGE
By 7:00 PM, Harry had finished packing his most precious belongings. Suddenly, there was a rapping at his window. Harry opened it and Pig flew in, bearing gifts. Pig dumped Harry’s gifts on his bed, raided Hedwig’s stash of Owl Treats, and then flew off.
Excited, Harry unwrapped the first gift. It was a box of chocolate frogs from Hermione. Figures.
Well, maybe the next one would be more interesting. Harry tore off the wrapping of Ron’s gift. It was at Official Chudley Cannons Tea Kettle. Oh joy. Well, maybe the last one...
Harry unwrapped Ginny’s gift. It was a magazine called PlayBloke. Harry flipped through; it boasted articles about the 1933 Muggle Massacre and “Fifty Ways to Treat Your Hippogriff Right.” It was bizarre. Then Harry noticed several layouts of scantly clad, barely legal witches posing with brooms and wands in unique, colorful poses. The centerfold, Annabelle Wong, posed erotically with a racing broom.
The caption read: “Let me ride your broomstick, Big Boy. XOXO, Annabelle.”
Annabelle winked at Harry; he turned three shades of red and quickly flipped the page. The pages were sticky. OH - MY - GOD! YUCK!!! As Harry dropped the magazine, a card fell out of it onto his bed.
Happy Birthday. This was a family heirloom.
Ron christened it himself. Enjoy!
Five showers later, Harry returned to his bedroom. After fumigating the room with Lysol, Harry put on thick leather gloves in case he received any more ‘gifts.’ There was another rapping at his window. ‘Oh God, what could that be?’ he wondered. He turned to Hedwig, who was dozing in her cage. Was Pig back again? Harry peered through the window, but didn’t see anything. He opened the windowpane carefully. Suddenly, a large, black raven swooped in carrying a scroll. A raven?
Was this another gift? Harry looked at the raven curiously. It glared back, as if to suggest that he was a filthy, stinking cretin. It must be the marks from his O.W.L.s. Harry expected that History of Magic and Potions didn’t go too well. So much for becoming an Auror.
Harry took off his gloves and quickly untied the scroll from the bird’s leg. The raven watched him suspiciously. Harry was about to open the scroll but decided against it. He didn’t want to give the raven the luxury of squawking ‘nevermore’ once he read that he had failed all of his O.W.L.s. The raven suddenly ruffled its feathers and flew away. Harry opened the scroll.
I hereby challenge you to a Wizard’s Duel.
Midnight, September Second.
Meet me on top of the Astronomy Tower.
Harry snickered. Was Malfoy kidding? The last time he challenged Harry to a Wizard’s Duel was in October of their first year at Hogwarts, and the bloody coward didn’t even show up. What would Malfoy do now... transform into the amazing bouncing ferret and bite him? Harry should get a rabies shot, just in case.
Suddenly, the scroll self-destructed and became a pile of ash. Harry swallowed hard; Malfoy obviously wasn’t joking.
END OF CHAPTER 1