The Old Walls Crumble by cearrae
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This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

This story has started to plague me incessantly and has blocked my thoughts on my first fiction. I would like to have a Beta for this story and I have asked but haven’t had any takers. If you are interested and have been a beta before or are really good on grammar, please contact me. I would like help with grammar but I’m not opposed to plot ideas and canon tweaks.

As always reviews are welcome.

The Old Walls Crumble.

Prologue.

Two dark cloaked male figures appeared on the dimly lit, deserted street corner leading to Spinner’s End. One leaned heavily on the other, clearly injured.

“Which way?” asked Malfoy.

An arm raised and a finger pointed the way. The pair made their way slowly to the doorway of a dilapidated row house. Pulling a wand from his cloak, Draco pointed it at the lock. “Alohamora.” He waited for the door to open.

“Stupid!” exclaimed Snape through clenched teeth. “My pocket, there’s a charmed key.”

Trying not to jostle his companion too much, Malfoy found the key and used it to open the door. Once in, he closed the door behind them immediately. The injured wizard made his way down the narrow hall, leaning his weight against the wall. He turned into the front room and stumbled to a threadbare couch where he finally collapsed. The younger man followed him, pulling out his wand once more.

“Lumos,” he called, lighting the candles and bathing the room in a yellow glow. He looked at his professor lying on the couch and grimaced. The wounds were still bleeding badly from the deep gashes along his ribcage and arms.

“You need help sir. Who can I fetch to help you?” he asked feeling helpless.

The man on the couch laughed mirthlessly, “Foolish little boy. Fetch help?’ his laughter turned into a cough.

Pulling off his cloak, Draco Malfoy moved to kneel beside Snape who was even paler than usual due to the loss of blood.

“Professor, tell me what I need to do, please?” he begged, “You’ll die without help.”

“Well, that would simplify matters greatly for everyone concerned, wouldn’t it?” replied Snape in his characteristic acerbic tone, “Over there in the sideboard, bring me the orange potion.” He ordered, and then rested his head on the cushion behind him.

Draco went to the indicated cabinet and opened a drawer. Inside he found a multicoloured cache of potion filled phials. Selecting an orange potion as instructed, he closed the drawer and went to kneel beside Snape again.

“Here you are sir,” said Draco, opening the cap of the phial before handing it over.

Snape took the potion and downed it in one. “Helps replenish blood faster….now…you must heal.” He pointed to himself.

Draco looked at his house master with eyes gaping in fear. “Sir, I …I don’t know how. I could kill you.”

Snape looked at the scared child before him, for that is all Draco was; a man child. He was all Snape had for aid however and had to perform.

“I have had enough of your cowardice today Malfoy. You were the one who wanted to prove yourself. Why your mother wanted to save your pathetic arse I’ll never know.” He spat.

Draco swallowed thickly, “Te..tell me what to do sir.”

Snape closed his eyes, “Your wand Malfoy, like so.” He inscribed a scrolling motion gradually moving across a line. “Show me.”

Snape watched as Draco practiced the wand movement and nodded his satisfaction.

“Now the incantation; Sanosectum Iniuriam repeated continuously as you move your wand over the injury. Try...go on.” Snape instructed and lay back once more.

Draco peeled back the torn garments from the wounds and made sure there were no foreign bodies stuck to the tissue. He took a deep breath and concentrated.

“Sanosectum Iniuriam,” he intoned as he waved his wand as he had practised. The flesh began to knit together slowly as his wand passed over it. He heard his professor moan in pain and stopped.

“Why did you stop, you stupid child?” Snape demanded through a clenched jaw. Perspiration beaded on his brow betraying the pain he had just endured.

Draco wiped the sweat of fear from his upper lip, “You were in so much pain sir.”

Snape let his head drop back, “It’s only physical discomfort Malfoy. It is temporary. I can handle the pain, I’m not afraid of it. I’m not a coward. Continue...I’m not a coward...I’m not a coward.”

Draco began the healing charm once more, listening to the strange mantra his professor and protector chanted to himself.

Narcissa paced to and fro in her gilt reception room. Much of the Malfoy home had been closed as an economy but she had insisted on her personal drawing room remaining open.

She had received the team of Auror’s there with the dignity of her title. She had remained aloof as they contaminated her home with their search and endured their rude insinuations about her morals.

“You’re making me dizzy sister. Sit and take tea.” Bellatrix said in a bored tone.

“I can’t. You heard what they said.” Narcissa turned and sat on the edge of her Queen Anne chair, “What has become of them?”

“Snape’s no fool. He’ll have taken them somewhere safe.” The dark witch replied.

“But where Bella, where?” she looked to her sister once more.

Bellatrix cocked her head to the side, “What do little boys do when they get hurt or frightened?”

It dawned on Narcissa what her sister meant. “No, not there...would he?” she asked even though she knew the answer.

Bellatrix smiled, “They always run home to mummy. If I know Severus, he has made his home a fortress.” She put her cup down and approached her sister. “We wait until the hounds are circling for a new scent and then we move.”

Narcissa nodded her understanding but in her heart, she wanted to be with her only son. She wanted to take him away from this place, this country that had become a living hell for them both.