Chapter 68 - Looking Forward

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Everything seemed to be moving at an incredible rate. Draco knew that time didn't speed up or slow down, but it felt like they were hurtling towards the inevitable at great speed.

Looking around the room, he could tell all their friends were as tired as they were. It had been another long night as they prepared things in secret, pretending that the school was just carrying on as normal.

Ron and Hermione were sitting close together on a comfortable looking sofa, Pansy had a bean bag chair she was curled up in, and Greg was lying on the floor. The Room of Requirement had all their plans in it, so after they had finished their latest tasks that's where they had returned to. Everyone else had already gone to bed, but their group were winding down.

"Do you think he'll really come?" Harry broke the comfortable silence with his words.

Draco had suspected something was coming, he had felt it building in his soulmate. He was sat on a comfortable chair with Harry between his legs on the floor and he had been trying to remove tension from Harry's shoulders that never seemed to go away now.

"Bound to," Ron said.

From a Slytherin Draco would have assumed the response was hyperbole, but he knew that Ron was simply saying exactly what he thought. It was a strange comfort that their number one strategist was so sure.

"Snape hasn't been summoned yet," Harry said and revealed what had clearly been worrying him.

"He wouldn't be a Dark Lord if he rushed into things," Pansy said. "He'll want to make sure of everything before he calls Professor Snape back. He won't let a chance like this pass."

"But what if..."

Draco leant forward, winding his arms around Harry's shoulders and placing his face right next to his soulmate's.

"Even if he doesn't take the bait, we just come up with a new plan," he said. "But he will. He's a madman and he's obsessed with you. He's just a careful one who likes to think everything is his idea."

"His ego has got him every time," Hermione agreed. "This will be no different."

Harry didn't say anything, but leant into Draco.

"Look," Draco decided, "we're all exhausted. We need to stop this worrying and get some sleep. The preparations on the castle are going perfectly, we have everything from this end under control. Professor Snape is the best actor I know and we know the Dark Lord believed him. We just have to wait for the evil bastard to make his next move."

"Yeah," Greg agreed and sat up.

[I can't help worrying,] Harry told Draco silently as everyone else moved as well.

[I know, Love,] Draco replied and kissed his cheek, [neither can I, but, right now, all we can do is have faith. Come on, things will look better in the morning.]

The nightmares had come back to some extent with all the stress they were under, but Draco could hope for a peaceful night. None of them were going to sleep completely soundly until this was all over.

* * *

The situation with Lucius was in no way resolved, and Draco was still having trouble dealing with the idea that he might actually have his father back, but at least he could think about it without panicking now. It had been four weeks since the trip to St Mungo's and he had spoken to his mother about Lucius on several occasions and received two letters from his father, although he had, as yet, been unable to make himself reply, except for short notes of acknowledgement.

Harry had been trying to look into how he had altered the Killing curse to produce the current results, but with everything else going on, it had so far been a fruitless search. This had caused Harry to keep apologising until Draco had had to threaten to withdraw sexual favours unless Harry got over it; which thankfully seemed to have worked. Draco had also sent the Ministry packing when they wanted to talk to his soulmate about it. The war was far more important just at the moment.

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