Disclaimer- See Chapter one
First week back at Hogwarts, and Draco wanted nothing more than to crawl in a hole and never see the light again! The glares weren’t that bad! He could also make do with the whispers and threats. What he couldn’t do was put on his mask anymore! He was tired! So tired! Months of nearly starving himself, years of nightmares, losing his magical strength due to the amount of glamour he had to put up every single day! Why couldn’t he just … be? He could of course not wear glamour during classes ‘cause the robe kept his arms hidden anyway, but during Potions he always shrugged off his robes! And, according to him, there shouldn’t be one slit in the wards which can make way for the enemies!
So, Friday night found the ‘Shame-to-the-name-of-Malfoys’ sitting in an alcove in the Astronomy Towers. His mind clouded with thoughts, memories! He let his glamour fall! The moonlight shown on the ‘not-so-perfect-anymore’ pale arms!
The week wasn’t so bad. The usual Gryffindor-Slytherin feuds lost its sparks! Even certain Boy-Heroes didn’t spare so much a second glance or any sign of acknowledgement of their years long rivalry! The quite atmosphere of the Eighth Year common room didn’t last long. It was now always filled with loud Gryffindors’ laughter, pranks and all. Draco was glad not to live in the dungeons anymore. The haunting memories of his godfather filled the rooms to every dust floating in the cold air.
With a lone sigh, he stood up and walked a few steps.
Yes. This is where he stood. Right here. And then I came. To KILL him. But he said I’m not a killer. No. No, I am not. Wish I could be! N O, I don’t, I don’t wish that! But I did, at that time. HE had my mother! If I could succeed, she wouldn’t have to go through……But I’m a coward, I’m a bloody coward. Severus wasn’t. He killed him.
Draco walked toward the railing.
And then he fell. He fell!
Draco walked a few more steps. He stood right at the edge and placed his cold hands on the equally, if not more cold railing. He leaned forward, keeping his balance. His eyes daggering the pitch black pit. The full moon didn’t help the darkness gathered there. He leaned more, he knew he probably looked ridiculous but he didn’t care anymore. More, and more and “Sto…”
Draco regained his balance and whipped back, fishing out his wand. With his wand held tight, he let his eyes roam the place. There was none. But he could swear to Merlin he heard a voice, a very familiar voice at that. And, who else was in the castle that tended to find him at his worst except The Git ?
“I know you are here Potter.” The ‘Potter’ was laced with less than usual venom. He couldn’t care less. “Don’t be a bloody coward and cancel the disillusionment charm!”
Draco waited for minutes. Wand at ready.
Silence followed silence.
With a last longing look at the moon, he left the Tower.
Harry stood frozen in his place. His invisibility cloak no longer embracing him. He knew for sure Malfoy wasn’t trying to jump. He was just curious! His quill or something probably fell. Yes that must be it! Why would Malfoy even…
But if he was right to see what he thought he saw, Malfoy would !
Harry had finally gathered the courage to come to the Astronomy Tower earlier this night, and when he did, someone was already here, standing at the exact same spot where Dumbledore stood that night. And the distinct white blond hair didn’t make it hard for him to ‘recognize’ the person. The old habit of spying upon the blonde kicked in and he found himself standing in the shadow, wrapped up in his cloak.
He couldn’t help the gasp that tore from his lips when he first noticed the left forearm of his arch-enemy! Thankfully the git (or should he even call him that anymore? Yes. He’ll always be a git no matter what) didn’t hear it. But how could he not yell when a person was clearly trying to jump off the…..or maybe not jump. But he didn’t need to know that!
The rest of the night found an utterly confused Gryffindor (Come Slytherin) sitting in the alcove his arch-enemy was sitting earlier the same night.
It was a week later, when on a Saturday evening, Draco thought he had enough of studying , he needed a break ! He had been drowning himself in extra lessons throughout the week. Well, different people had different ways to cope with the numbness within! Keeping aside his Advanced Ancient Runes book, he went out of the common room, not aware of the curious green eyes watching him hiding behind the books balancing on the crooked arm of the sofa beside the fire.
Truth was, Draco didn’t know where he could go. The Astronomy Tower was out of question. Potter has a habit of lounging there, he thought bitterly. After standing with his back propped up against the cold stone wall for a couple seconds, he decided on the lake. Yes, he did want to get away from his studies, but that didn’t necessarily mean he wanted to ‘hang out’ with people! He would gladly choose the Giant Squid over ‘still furious and likely to hex him the moment their eyes fall on him’ Hogwarts students (I think it’s safe to assume, probably the whole Wizarding population.)
Reaching the lake, Draco cast a cleaning charm and a drying charm on the ground and sat down, under the single tree, crooking his ankles over each other. Taking a deep breath he held it for some seconds and let go. He closed his eyes, and his mind drifted away to the night exactly a year before .
The war had come to an end three months prior to this Friday. His father had been given The Kiss last night. If he was to be true, he didn’t know what to feel! He couldn’t decide if it was wrong of him to be a bit relieved that he didn’t have to live up to any expectations of the wrong sorts anymore! But he did anyway. He was relieved that he wouldn’t have to be the one to be Crucio’ed because his father failed the Dark Lord, he wouldn’t have to be the one to be forced to take the mark because one Malfoy wasn’t enough in the army of the Death-eaters, since the said Malfoy was proving to be a nuisance rather than help. He was relieved that he wouldn’t have to cast Unforgivables for hours on innocent muggles, because if he didn’t, he would be on the receiving end, that too, of his father’s wand! But, before the Great Comeback of the Dirty Snake-eyed Bastard in Fifth year, his father had been a loving ..well..if not loving , at least not a poor excuse of a father , which role he great fully accepted after the return of Vol..Damn me! Why can’t I still say his name?
So, yes. Draco could not, not feel sad at the loss of his father. There had been happy moments. Yes , as a father , Lucius Malfoy was demanding , setting rules and regulations of being a proper pureblood wizard , expecting him to be the best in everything , but aren’t those normal Pureblood family traits ? Didn’t his friends have the same upbringing? Well, being a Malfoy, he, a bit more than the others. But, being a Malfoy had its perks too! Vacations in exotic places in France! The best clothes, foods, toys, brooms, and the best education!
Everything changed after Fifth year! The once happy, bright, sun-filled and airy Malfoy Manor was consumed in darkness. Draco often compared the darkness within and without, and realized, the darkness within was much darker than the dark corridors of the Manor.
And, he remembered the night of his marking. His father stood there tall, proud. His mother, teary eyes staring at him from behind the mask!
The haunting memories eventually pulled him in a deep, troubled slumber.
And he dreamt of the night exactly a year before.