On the night of May 2nd 1998, Draco Malfoy lays awake on his bed.
“It’s over. He’s dead. It’s over.” His mind chants. But is it?
A dark, hooded figure that hadn’t been there a second before stands on the edge of his bed, Malfoy starts. He grasps for his wand before realizing he hasn’t got one. The hooded figure chuckles, voice acidic and cold.
“You cheated me.” It says, Draco is frozen in place, searching his brain for whoever this might be. It can’t be the Dark Lord. He’s dead. Draco saw him die today. It can’t be.
“I’m Death.” It answers the question he hadn’t voiced, the knowledge brings a sense of Deja Vu, but he can’t quite place it “and no, I’m not here to take you with me.” he fails to conceal his disappointment. The room feels colder than it had.
“You were meant to die today, in the fire, but you didn’t.” The hairs on his body stand on edge at the mention of it. He’s shaking before he realizes it.
It had been so hot, he’d been gripping Potter’s waist like a lifeline, the fire licking at the hems of his pants, his screams drowned by the roar of the flames, Crabbe falling down and being consumed by them like he was nothing. He thought he’d die. He wishes he had.
“It was written on the stars, Draco Malfoy. However did you cheat the heavenly bodies?” It drawls out impatiently, he doesn’t know the answer. Is he supposed to?
“For this, however.” Death says, swishing it’s cloak, bony hands showing “I owe you a wish. Any wish at all.”
Draco’s eyes widen and his heart picks up speed in his chest. Any wish at all.
He suddenly remembers hearing a similar story to this one. Every bone in his body advices him not to accept, for Death could only be cunning and deceitful, not giving and generous.
Or perhaps Life was the first two and Death’s sweet release was the last. Perhaps life had been the cruel one all along. He dreams of a world where he doesn’t have to feel all of this, where the guilt doesn’t eat him alive, where he never takes the Dark Mark, where war doesn’t kill hundreds, where he’s happy.
He realizes that even if Death is fooling him, he doesn’t mind the likely outcome.
“I want a time turner” he says firmly “One capable of going back to 1991.” If Death is surprised, it doesn’t show it, it moves it’s hands in a swish and a time turner appears between them. It floats until it settles on Draco’s hand.
“Act wisely, Malfoy boy. For I can only grant you one wish.” It says, the ghost of a smile behind the dark hood. Then disappears.
Draco clutches the object and adjusts the time. He wonders if he’s in a dream, if it’ll work. Maybe he’s already dead and doesn’t know it, he doesn’t mind much.
Doesn’t care to find out.
He closes his eyes and is launched into the paradox of time and space. He sees a colorless void and falls falls falls. His body small and insignificant in the never-ending space. Just when he’s starting to become fond of the quiet nothing and the soothing air touching his face, his stomach twists and he appears in a room that he knows too well. High ceilings and cool toned ancient furnitures. No feeling of home or coziness despite belonging to a child.
His childhood bedroom. If one could call it that.
He looks at the clock with a sharp twist and beneath the time, it reveals the date.
July 31st of 1991.
He almost can’t believe he has succeeded, but can’t dwell on his fear and excitement too long, for a small boy whom he knows too well and not at all stands at the foot of his bed, staring at him in horror. It’s a shock, seeing himself so full of life in the innocence of a child who doesn’t know what the future entails. A child with eager eyes and a prideful chest. Malfoy realizes he’s a ghost of what this child is.
“Who are you?” The small one shrieks. Draco presses a finger to his lips, shushing him. He’s grateful that the Manor is big enough for them not to be heard.
“I’m you. From the future.” young Draco flinches back and is about to start shouting again, before he seems to take in Draco’s features and connects them to an older version of himself. His eyes widen and Draco can see himself panic and glance around frantically, although also subtly, for an escape.
Slytherins. He thinks fondly.
“That’s not possible. Why-how are you here?” He demands.
“I have a story to tell you. But the first thing you need to know.” He swallows a lump in his throat “is that today you will be meeting a boy as you get fitted for your Hogwarts robes. I want you to change what you will say to him, for it’ll change how he sees you. It is extremely important that you do so.”
“Why? What do you mean? I don’t understand.” young Draco looks even more confused, of course he is.
Draco explains as much as he can and sugar coats what a child shouldn’t have to know. He attempts to explain to his own self that the opinions of his father are wrong, the small Draco tries to protest, but he doesn’t allow him to and continues telling him what’ll happen if he doesn’t listen carefully. By the end, his voice is hoarse and little Draco looks sick with fear. But he nods, seemingly understanding he has a duty to perform even if he doesn’t quite understand all of it it. Ah, the usual Malfoy, accepting what’s presented to him, born to please his elders, he thinks bitterly.
“Who’ll be the boy I’ll meet today?” His younger self asks tentatively when Draco is done talking and stands up. Draco smiles nostalgically as he adjusts the time again.
“I have put my faith in you, what you choose to do from now can change everything.” He says, and just as he feels the void sucking him in again, he says his last words to the last hope he’s got.
“And Draco, one last thing.” the kid nods “offer him your hand before you learn his name.”
where things grow, there is hope, all that heals has hope.