Scorched Earth – Chapter Five – Ladyholder

Content Rating:
  • NC-17
  • Abuse-Child
  • Character Bashing
  • Dark Themes
  • Death-Major Character
  • Discussion-Torture
  • Permanent Injury
  • Racism
  • Violence-Canon-Level
  • Violence-Graphic
  • Alternate Universe
  • Fix It
  • Time Travel

Word Count:

Author's Note:
Draco has reached the end of his rope here. And he's grabbing onto his last hope.

It’s the eve of the final battle and Draco is doing something that he never thought he would do. He’s praying to Zir. And he’s utterly unprepared to get an answer.

Chapter Five


“When I said that I wanted to be examined by a healer, this isn’t what I expected to have as the result,” Draco said as he eyed the dose of flushing drought.

“Lad, you’ve been in the hands of people who routinely use potions and spells to ensure loyalty,” the dverger healer reminded him. “Be glad we’re going with the flushing drought first. There’s other, much harsher methods of cleaning you up.”

“Oh, I know,” Draco admitted. “But this is going to be a horrible day and I’m not looking forward to it.”

The healer shrugged once. “None of us are lad. Best drink it fast and get the whole thing started.”

Draco nodded once and chugged the whole thing down. For a moment nothing happened and he could only hope that meant there was nothing in him that needed to be flushed. Seconds after the thought ran through his mind, the first horrific gurgling of his stomach rumbled through him.

“Aw, damn it,” he hissed. The rest of his day passed in a blur that he never, ever wanted to remember clearly.



“How are you feeling, lad?” Ragnok asked as Draco slowly lowered himself into a chair.

“Like I’ve spent the last 24 hours losing everything I’ve ingested for my whole life, one way or another,” Draco murmured. He winced at how rough his voice sounded, but there was nothing he could do to fix it other than time. “Not that I’m not grateful for the results of that time though.”

“But the getting there was wretched,” Ragnok observed with a wry twist to his lips.

“Very wretched,” Draco confirmed. He looked over as Harry and Sirius walked in and sighed. “We aren’t going to like what our scans revealed, are we?”

“No, lad, you aren’t,” Ragnok agreed. He had a sheaf of documents in front of him again. Draco eyed them with disfavor and suspicion.

“Nothing good seems to come from your reports on us, sir,” Harry muttered as he walked over to where Draco was sitting. “Move over Dragon. I’m sitting with you.”

“Not that I mind you being all pushy and touchy with me, but why? You barely let Hermione touch you at school,” Draco asked as he made room for Harry on the chair. “You almost flinch away from anyone else coming near you.”

“I don’t like people touching me, I never have,” Harry said as he sat down. He twisted slightly so he was sitting more on Draco than the chair. “But you don’t make my skin crawl and neither does Hermione. So, yes, I’m going to sit with you when I can and touch you when I can.”

“What about me, pup?” Sirius asked. He looked sad to Draco’s eye and he could only hope Harry had good news for him.

“I don’t mind touching you, Sirius, but I wasn’t sure you wanted me to,” Harry said. “You’ve been pushed around enough. I didn’t want to add my issues onto yours.”

“But you can add them onto me?” Draco asked, amused.

“Well of the three of us, I’m pretty sure you are the most mentally healthy, as weird as that is. I doubt your father wanted to fuck you up too much as a kid.” Harry waved between himself and Sirius. “We’ve both had close dealings with Dumbledore and his Order of the Flaming Chicken and at least one of those bastards doesn’t see a thing wrong with potioning someone to the eyeballs. Speaking of…”

Harry turned to look at Ragnok. “Did you send my request to Hermione?”

“She’s been invited to the Bank for business,” Ragnok confirmed. “At least that’s what was in the invitation. I couldn’t figure out a way to get her in here with us, but you said that she normally spends the month with the Weasley’s?”

“Yeah, she spends a good chunk of August with them,” Harry confirmed.

“Well, we invited her to come meet. It’s up to her to take the chance,” Ragnok reminded them. He shook the documents in his hands. “Let’s get this mess over with.”

Thirty minutes later, Draco could only wonder how any of them had managed to function in the other timeline. He had been subject to several behavioral potions, all keyed to reinforce his loyalty to his father and his mandates. Harry had been subject to much the same, only the object of his devotion had been keyed to Dumbledore. There were also memory charms on them both with small snippets of time taken in every instance. The charm work all seemed designed to help reinforce Draco’s distaste of Harry and Harry’s to him.

The work had been done well and was very subtle.  Until Ragnok had mentioned the charm work, Draco hadn’t questioned his memory. His distaste for Harry had mostly disappeared under the weight of their acknowledgment of their soul bond, so he had written the rest off as habit. His distaste for Gryffindor House had seemed like a more logical and normal thing, given that his House had been set up as their opposite.

To have all that revealed as a construct had hurt. He could deal with the shite that his father had done, but Dumbledore had been more than he had been able to handle. Despite all his cynicism regarding the Headmaster, Draco could admit that he had bought into his ‘Leader of the Light’ bullshite. Harry had been in much the same boat.

But for the both of them, they had come out far ahead of Sirius’ condition. Behavioral modification potions, memory charms, damage from the dementors, potions to reinforce the malnutrition he had left Azkaban with and more spells designed to weaken his mind… Ragnok had been damn near incoherent with rage as he got to the bottom of that list.

“As I see it, four years might not be enough to get us back into shape,” Harry muttered as he breathed in a steady pattern against Draco’s neck.

“Maybe. You and I should be set to rights pretty quickly on the potions front. As I remember, they need to be reinforced every three months or so. I figure they worked around the school year to get us.” Draco said. He remembered learning about them in some of Severus’ more advanced classes as cautionary tales.

“And due to me rarely leaving Hogwarts, I was easy enough to dose,” Harry sounded grim. “The year Hermione and I spent running all over England, my loyalty to Dumbledore and my willingness to follow his dictates faded. Especially after Ron left. Whoever was carrying on the dosing couldn’t have gotten to me.”

“Right,” Draco looked over at Sirius and sighed. “And I likely got dosed every time I went home. Or maybe in the various parcels, I was sent from Mother. I just can’t figure out where Sirius was getting dosed.”

“I lived with Dumbledore’s bloody Order. My being dosed so severely isn’t actually a surprise,” Sirius muttered from behind his hands. “I don’t know if the four years is going to be enough, but I’m certainly going to put my back into getting healed up. Because this is bullshite.”

“Agreed,” Ragnok looked back at them. “We have four years to get you three ready for the trials and there’s no way we’re going to fail on that. I want everyone involved in this mess to be strung up by their bollocks.”

“And for those without bollocks?” Harry asked.

“Trust me, everyone has bollocks, real or metaphorical,” Ragnok muttered. “Let’s get started.”



“Master Dragon needs to take his doses,” Winky called as she entered his room.

“You are evil,” Draco muttered into his pillow.

“Master Dragon has another two hundreds doses of potions to makes sure he’s healthy,” Winky reminded him.

Draco shuddered at the number. “Damn it.”

“You’s best be getting up,” Winky said as she poked his side.

The yelp he let out was involuntary as she hit the space in-between some of his ribs. “Mean thing. I’m up!”

“If yous were up, you would be sitting up. Not buried under covers and pillows,” Winky bitched. “I’s can take away the coffee and cinny roll if yous not want potions.”

“So damn evil,” Draco said before he rolled around on the bed and sat up. “I’m pretty sure Dobby isn’t this mean to Harry.”

“He not be,” Winky confirmed. “But I’s be getting Master Harry up too and he’s much better at it than you.”

“Why are you getting him up?” Draco asked as he took his morning doses from her. He managed to get through them quickly and shuddered at the tastes. There was nothing that could be done to make the various medications taste better.

He was on a series of potions to help him recover from the years of casual abuse his father had thrown at him. He hadn’t known that the behavior was wrong until he had been in counseling for a month. It had been all he had known.

But he wasn’t planning on perpetuating the cycle. Harry deserved better from him. He deserved better from himself and any future children they had certainly deserved better. He wasn’t his father and he never ever wanted to be compared to him.

The first sip of his coffee cleared the taste and he savored the clean rich taste of the brew. He hadn’t been fond of the drink before he had entered the time chamber, but Harry adored it, so he had given it another try. Adding cream and sugar had done a lot to make the drink palatable. And it worked much better at waking him up than tea ever had.

“Are you going to tell me why you’re waking him up?” Draco asked as he tore his cinnamon bun apart and started enjoying it.

“Dobby is too nice to Master Harry to wakes him up. He’s being nice since he had to be means to him yous second year and he’s not wanting to be mean again,” Winky reported. She moved over to his closet and started pulling out clothes for him. “I’s has no problem being mean.”

“I’m sure you don’t,” Draco sighed. “Just don’t be cruel.”

“I’s not,” Winky promised. “You’s up for talky time after yous gets up.”

Draco took a deep drink of his coffee and tried not to bitch. He hated therapy. But if he wanted to be considered healed, he knew that he needed to go through the whole process. And that included ‘talky time’. Damn it.



“You know, the worst thing about this is that we can’t go out,” Draco muttered as he jogged around the track set close to the wall of the cavern they were in.

“We’ve got weather, masses of room and a whole bunch of people working on getting us well and you want to go out? Why?” Harry panted as he kept pace.

Draco shook his head once. “Change of pace? Different food? Sunshine?”

“Patience is a virtue, Draco,” Harry said before he shook his head. “What am I saying, you’ve never been the patient sort.”

“No, not really,” Draco confirmed. He held his peace for most of the next circuit and tried to figure out what was bothering him. It certainly wasn’t the potions that had been reinforcing his loyalty to his father.

“Figured it out yet?” Harry asked they slowed their pace down to a walk.

“I think so.”

“Gonna share?” Harry asked as Draco walked the track in silence.

“Yeah,” Draco looked over at his soulmate and shrugged. His personality wasn’t really a surprise so he didn’t think Harry would be upset at his news. “I’m an impatient twat who wants to be healed and done with the whole process.”

“That’s not all,” Harry pressed, side-eyeing him. “Is it?”

“No,” Draco said. “I want this over with. I know that we’re healing and that only six hours have passed outside of this cavern. But while I know that here,” he tapped his forehead once. “It’s hard not to feel like time is passing that we can’t afford.”

“Four years in two days, Dragon, and we’re not aging. When we get out of here, we’ll be stronger, both mentally and physically. And magically we’re going to be powerhouses. Plus, we’ll have the training we need to take the war to both Voldie and Dumbles. Neither of them will be expecting us to know much beyond what is taught in Hogwarts right now,” Harry reminded him. “Well, your father might expect a bit more given the two days of training you will officially have had.”

“I have no idea how he can think I will have much more than what I walked in with,” Draco admitted. “I mean, I’m a pretty decent student, but even I have limits.”

Harry slipped a hand into his and Draco squeezed it. They walked the cooldown route quietly before they returned to their quarters in the castle.



“You got us healthy and now you want to try to kill us?”

“You aren’t going to die, young Malfoy. You might wish you would, but you really aren’t.” Ironblade, the dverger in charge of their physical education informed him with a bright smile.

“That’s not reassuring at all,” Harry muttered from his spot in the salle. He was stretching out his muscles and Draco had to remind himself not to look. His partner was very flexible and he was easily distracted.

“I have three years to get you three up to snuff,” Ironblade reminded them. “And I’m not sure that’s enough time at all.”

“You’ve been monitoring our workouts since we were released from the healers,” Sirius commented from his spot beside Harry. “You had better stretch out, Draco. This’ll hurt more if you don’t.”

Draco huffed softly and started stretching. “I know this is going to hurt, I’m just…”

“Spoiled and unhappy about having to work out?” Ironblade asked.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say unhappy about working out, but I am worried,” Draco grunted as he stretched out carefully. He slid into a set of splits that let him lie with his stomach against the ground. It was his favorite pose to see Harry in and he enjoyed the burn in his own muscles as he managed it himself.

“Not commenting on the spoiled bit, cousin?” Sirius asked.

Draco looked up from where he was stretching his neck. “Why comment on the truth? I know I’m spoiled. So were you, when you were younger.”

“To a degree,” Sirius conceded. “Walburga wasn’t quite the spoiling type, but she did make sure I knew the extent of my family’s power. And how that power would reflect on me.”

“Sounds like a mess,” Harry muttered as he rose from his stretch.

“Oh, it was a complete cockup. I used the power of my family when I needed it or wanted it and I was rarely fussed to think about it until I was cut off from it,” Sirius said. He glanced at Ironblade and shrugged. “I do have some experience with a blade. From human instructors though.”

“Then we shall build on that,” Ironblade said with a smile.



Draco had his sword up over his head in a ready position that would allow him to move it where he needed it with a minimum of fuss. He kept a careful eye on his teacher as they circled one another. All the while he was controlling his breathing as he let his mage senses free.

He couldn’t say what alerted him, but the movement of his sword to block Ironblade’s was almost instinctive now. The forms and flow of sword fighting moved through him without thought and Draco accepted the blows that got through as his guard as his just punishment for fucking up.

They were two years into their retreat and physically, both he and Harry were healed. He hadn’t put on any additional inches since that hadn’t been one of his issues, but he had put on muscle. The sword lessons, the running, staff training, everything had transformed him from the soft aristocratic boy he had been to something much harder.

When a spark of pain creased his shoulder, Draco growled softly and shot a wandless pinching hex at Ironblade’s arse. The dverger jumped slightly at the unexpected pain and Draco twisted his blade slightly to get within his guard.

“Well done, young Malfoy,” Ironblade said. He sounded slightly rueful. “Why did you pinch my arse?”

“Well,” Draco slowly pulled his swords back and tried not to pant. “I wasn’t winning by using the rules you gave me for the sword, so I decided to reach for the rules you gave us for magic. Use everything, no matter how silly the spell it.”

“And it worked,” Ironblade admitted. “Now that you’ve shown that you can combine casting magic with sword fighting, we’ll need to start exploring that. But we’ll do that tomorrow. You are dismissed.”

Draco bowed to the swordmaster and stepped out of the ring. Winky appeared by his side and handed him some water and a towel. “Thank you, Winky.”

“Yous welcome,” Winky said before inspecting him critically. “I’s go draw a bath. You stink.”

“You are so good for my ego,” Draco sighed as he sipped on the water. He looked over at Harry in his ring and winced. Harry was a great deal less nice than he was and had been using magic for months with his sword work. His partner was working overtime to keep up.

There was a shout and the dueling wards surrounding Harry’s ring flared and the room shook like the inside of a bell. Draco dropped his water and sprinted over to where Harry should have been and tried to see through the suddenly opaque wards. “Harry?”

“Son of a bitch,” Harry griped as he staggered out of the circle with his teacher in his arms. “Ironblade! Ragnok! I think I broke Razel!”

“Let’s see him, lad,” Ragnok tugged at Harry’s arm and directed him to place his son on a low couch. “What happened?”

“Razel’s been coaching me through using my magic more offensively in a fight. We attempted something a bit different. Since I’ve been using it windlessly, we attempted to funnel it through my sword and at my opponent,” Harry explained. He waved a hand back at the training circle. “There was this nasty hum as I let my magic move through the sword and Razel was knocked arse over teakettle and then the sword blew up. I shielded, but I don’t know if he was able to.”

“Uhm,” Ragnok shook his head and then pulled a staff out of a dimensional store. Spell after spell poured out of the tip and surrounded Razel. Ragnok stared at the results and sighed. “He’s just exhausted lad. I think whatever you threw at him and then the explosion tapped him out.”

“I didn’t think that was possible,” Harry admitted as he settled into the lotus next to Razel’s temporary bed.

“You’ve got power to burn, Harry,” Sirius reminded him. He ran a hand through his godson’s hair and performed a mild diagnostic charm on him. “You seem to have used a lot of magic there, aren’t you tired?”

“Yeah,” Harry muttered as he stared at his teacher. “But I want to make sure Razel is okay before I do anything.”

“Winky!” Draco called as he sat in front of Harry and pulled his hands into his own. “Dobby!”

“Master Dragon calls?” Dobby asked as he popped into place. He took in Harry’s posture and tugged on his ears sharply. “Oh, Master Harry! You’s hurt!”

“He’s going to be okay. Can you get us some water and tea?” Draco asked. “Sweet and hot tea please.”

“Yes, Master Dragon,” Dobby agreed before he popped back out.

Winky popped into his place with a tray of bandages. “You silly boy. Burning youself like that!” she scolded.

“Your elf is so much like you, Dragon. All snarky and mean,” Harry sighed as he glanced down at his hands. “Huh. I did burn them.”

“You did,” Draco confirmed as he ran his wand over the red and blistered skin. “Seems to be the equivalent of a bad sunburn. Some aloe and a potion or two and you should be good in a day or so.”

“Okay.” Harry left his hands in his as he looked back at Razel. “Ragnok, sir? Should we check Razel for burns?”

“I already did that, lad. And dverger tolerate high temperatures better than wizards do, so while Razel’s hair is a bit singed, he’s fine in that respect. Just exhausted. His was the power that contained the explosion and he had to shield us, himself and he may have thrown up one around you as well. We’ll look in a pensive later.”

“Oh, good,” Harry sighed. He leaned back against Sirius and fell asleep as Draco cleaned the wounds on his hands.

“I don’t think anyone was expecting that,” Draco offered as he started wrapping pieces of aloe-soaked gauze around Harry’s fingers. “The explosion, I mean. The sleep was expected.”

“By me too, lad,” Ragnok sighed. He transfigured a small stone into a stool and sat down. “The explosion is something that I should have foreseen. Young Harry has a fascinating ability to warp spells and adapt them to his use. I don’t quite know what he sent through the sword he had, but it overloaded the matrixes and that was that.”

“Razel is okay? He’s not going to have any issues?” Sirius asked as he settled down behind Harry, all the while keeping him supported.

“He’s fine. Just tired. Unlike Harry, he’s been through his two maturations and is a fully mature magus,” Ragnok reminded them. He looked over at Ironblade and smirked. “You had better hope young Malfoy doesn’t do this to you when he gets the hang of wandless casting.”

“He pinched my arse earlier,” Ironblade admitted. “I’m going to reinforce the wards on our circle just in case. He’s as strong as his mate, just more controlled.

“Gee,” Draco huffed. He could feel the tips of his ears burning from his blush. “I’ll try not to blow us both up. But yeah, I need to know what spell he used, because doing this in battle would be useful.”

“If he uses Gryffindor’s Sword when he casts next,” Ragnok mused as he cast more diagnostic spells over his son. “That would be very interesting.”

“I’ll be behind some more wards then,” Razel moaned as he opened his eyes. He took in everyone looking at him and sighed. “I passed out?”

“Oh, yeah,” Draco confirmed. He nudged Harry to wake him up. “Harry, Razel is awake.”

“Huh?” Harry opened his eyes and turned to look at Razel. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Razel confirmed as he stretched out. “Just a bit sore. You?”

Harry pulled his hands out of Draco’s to show off them off. “A bit burned. And wanting my tea.”

“I’s has the tea, Master Harry,” Dobby admitted. He stepped around the people gathered around them and handed out mugs of warm, sweet tea. “I’s needed to find out a cup that yous could hold easy.”

Draco noticed that the handle on the mug Harry had in his hand was much larger than everyone else’s. “Looks like you did a good job, Dobby,” he complimented the elf before he took a sip of his tea. It was excellent.

“Thank you, Master Dragon,” Dobby said before he popped out.

“Okay, once everyone has their tea down them, we’ll need to go over this whole thing,” Ragnok announced. He took a sip of his own tea and hummed. “And then figure out how to use it.”



Draco tweaked his altar slightly and nodded once. He had set up the spot to Zir the first night they had been in the cavern and had regularly updated and replaced the offerings on it. Some of the offerings had disappeared and he could only guess that Zir had swung by to get a portion of wine and cherries.

Missy had done an excellent job in supplying him with everything he needed for his devotions and he made a mental note to let her know. Reaching into the trunk where his supplies were, he pulled out the bottle of cherry wine and set it in the middle of the altar.

He nodded once and stepped back. It had been three years since they had entered the cavern and they had a year left. He felt… Not ready, but getting there. “Thank you for your advice,” Draco murmured as he bowed. “I am truly grateful you heard me that day.”

“Cherry wine? Where has this been?” Zir asked as he plucked the bottle off the altar. “And you’re welcome.”

Draco looked up and found the Lord of Magic reclining in air, drinking the wine straight from the bottle. “Rough day?” he asked before he could help himself.

“Your sperm donor is an arse,” Zir snapped. “And the less said about that abomination he’s tied himself too, the better. It’s been 36 hours out there and I’m ready for them both to get a serving of karma.”

“Is there such a thing as a blessing of karma?” Harry asked from his seat on the bed.

Zir glanced over at Harry and raised an eyebrow. “You mean, have someone send them something at brings all the karma they are owed down on them at once?”

“Something like that,” Harry admitted. “I mean, I know there’s a curse that says ‘may you live in interesting times’, but is there something at can do the same with karma?”

“No, sadly,” Zir seemed upset at that and Draco couldn’t blame him for it. “But that would be a lovely blessing.”

“I figure the spell would be pretty much neutral, but depending on what anyone has done, the results would be spectacular,” Harry said.

“And likely very long-lasting too,” Draco muttered as he thought of everything that might be covered under the heading of karma. So much mayhem.

“I’m going to think on that, Lord Potter,” Zir said. He sounded distracted. “Yes, I am.”

“Well, you can think of us as a force for karma when we get out of here,” Draco said as he picked up a bowl of cherry scones. “Eat something before that wine goes to your head.”

“You are such a nag,” Zir bitched as he set the wine aside to take a scone. Biting into one, he nodded. “Okay, these are good.”

“Why are you here, sir?” Draco asked as he settled onto the bed by Harry. He reached out and took his hand and ran his thumb over the healed fingers.

“Just checking in on you lot,” Zir admitted. “I like how you’re keeping things up. Have your teachers go over the law, both British and international, this year. And keep studying for your OWLs. You’ll need them.”

“Yes, sir,” Draco confirmed before he looked at Harry. He raised an eyebrow and smiled when Harry turned to look at Zir.

“And me?”

“Much the same,” Zir admitted. He looked at Harry for several seconds as he munched on another scone. “And make sure you are aware of all the laws that govern the Wizengamot. Going right back to the beginning. I think you will find the knowledge useful.”

Harry nodded once. “Yes, sir.”

“You two are so cute it gives me a toothache,” Zir bitched as he plucked the wine bottle out of the air he had set it in. “I’ll see you when you get out of here. Don’t do anything too stupid.”

Draco opened his mouth to complain when the Lord of Magic faded out. “I hate it when he does that.”

“Are we sure he isn’t related to the Cheshire Cat?” Harry asked.

“I’m not,” Zir’s voice cut through the air. Draco looked at the spot and saw that the Lord of Magic’s grin was sitting in midair.

Burying his face in his hands he moaned. “Stop giving him ideas, love,” he begged.

Harry started laughing and kept it up, even when Draco smacked him with a pillow.




About Ladyholder McCaffrey

I've been in fandom for over a decade now and loved every minute of it. I play in a variety of places and you can see most of them on my site. I've been a part of Rough Trade since it was Naked Nano and I hope that every participant has as much fun with it as I did.


  1. Great update! Thanks for the new chapter

  2. Oh gods so finny and hilarious *Zir*!! Loving it!!

  3. Fun! Sword fighting with magic and Zir being all playful make for a great chapter. Thank you!

  4. I love that last bit with Zir. Karma is a great curse.

  5. Very good update

  6. Zir’s Cheshire Cat grin is priceless!

    I adore this story!

  7. Thanks for your wonderful update! I love the karma curse!

  8. Potions and curses cleared, check. Fighting, check. Casting through a sword making things go boom, check. Zir getting ideas from Harry, check. May they live in interesting times indeed.

  9. It’s great they’re getting things ‘cleared’ up. The Karma Blessing would definitely be entertaining.

  10. I want someone to make a movie of this story. I can hear Tom Hiddleston’s voice in every word you write for Zir. Brilliant update :D

  11. The blessing of karma … sounds like a fiendishly appropriate thing to wish on someone. ;)

    Another wonderful chapter. Thank you.

  12. This is superb, love it , thank you

  13. Awesome. Zir is hilarious and experiencing the Harry Potter Factor from Draco’s perspective, when he’s not the target, is wonderful. I love everything about this. 10/10. Will read again!

  14. Great chapter.
    Four years sounds like a long time, but they have a lot to learn and more is getting added.

  15. Poor Sirius needing four years of healing. Ouch.

  16. So good!!! I love this so much :)

  17. OMG Zir is SUCH a troll. Lol. I like the vague irritation and bemusement in all their exchanges.

  18. I am enjoying this story so much, and I love the interactions between Draco and Zir. Thank you for sharing.

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