I read someone's D/G angstfic today, but whose? Oh, who really gives a damn, the point is I wrote one of my own. I'm in a
sad little D/G mood.

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"Don't blame yourself, Draco."

That's all he ever heard lately. Potter's current catchphrase and Granger's attempt at consolation. Well, there was no
consolation for him. Not for a long while.

"Don't blame yourself, Draco."

They stood around him, looking murky and detached due to the tears that threatened in Draco's eyes. He refused to let them
fall, not one single drop. Ginny was the first one to see him cry. It was an accident, really, that chance encounter in the
Astronomy Tower late at night, so many years ago. Finding the place free of snogging couples, Draco had sought refuge in the
endless sky and its many lights. They twinkled and shimmered in his vision as he started to cry.

It wasn't the pain of the beatings so much as the pain of knowing he was alone that really hurt him. He remembered thinking
at the time that Lucius Malfoy was an arrogant bastard who deserved to be killed slowly, by the same methods he used to
discipline Draco. He also remembered thinking that, as a seventh year, he deserved better. He laughed bitterly at himself.
Nobody deserved anything just because they were seventeen.

"Malfoys are not weak," his father's voice came back to him through the mist of memory. "Nor are they sniveling brats who cry
about every little thing. For example," he said, and smacked Draco across the face. Draco had stood there, stunned, only
about 10 years old. Tears came instantly, but, afraid to provoke his father's wrath, he tried to keep them from rolling down
his cheeks.

Success was not to be had, and as soon as the first tear appeared, he was slapped again. And again, and again, until he
learned his lesson. His mother had learned to stay out of Lucius' way when he was dealing with Draco, having received the
same treatment a couple times before.

Over the years, Draco learned to slow and then stop the tears altogether. He would bite his tongue until blood trickled back
into his throat, he would pinch his hand so hard it would break the skin and leave bloody fingerprints on his robes. His
mother said nothing about the extra load of laundry this made for her, but looked at her son with such sadness that Draco
felt inclined to point out that she was the only one running the household - if she left, Lucius Malfoy's life would be
ruined. But she did nothing.

When Narcissa looked at him like that and he realized that his first reaction was to warn her about provoking Lucius, he knew
he had been imprinted irreversibly. He would always be afraid of his father, skittering around his feet like their many
house-elves, trying not to set off the firecracker named Lucius Malfoy.

He had been sitting there, contemplating the summer, and brooding that most of it would be spent avoiding his father. His
heart twisted as he realized that he was far more comfortable at Hogwarts than at home. "Hogwarts is my home," he said to
himself, and closed his eyes as the tears came. He let them fall freely, not knowing when he would get the chance to do so
again. Opening his eyes, he traced a finger in the pool of tears that had collected.

A slight movement caught his eye, and he whirled to survey the tower. He prided himself on his night vision, and almost
nothing went unnoticed by his sharp gray gaze. It was just a matter of deciding whether or not he needed to react to it.

In this case, the source of the noise was something worth reacting to. A glint of red hair and a sleeve of black cloak was
enough to tell him that one of the many, many Weasleys was up here spying on him.

He jumped to his feet, swiping at his eyes with his sleeve. "Who the hell is out there?" he demanded furiously. "I know it's
one of you damned Weasleys, so get the hell out here!"

The unnamed Weasley froze. Absolutely froze. Even Draco's keen night senses couldn't pick out the cloak from the shadows
that dappled the tower's stone walls. The bitter wind whipped at his tear-stained cheeks, and he impatiently pushed his
silver hair out of his eyes.

"I mean it, I've got my wand and I swear I'll hex you out right now, I'm in a rather bad mood," he challenged. One slight
shift of black cloth was all he got.

After a tense pause, the Weasley spoke. "Rather bad mood, indeed. And I thought you weren't able to cry."

"Weasley!" Draco hollered. "You are trying my patience, and that is not a good idea considering the circumstances."

"No need to get shirty with me, Malfoy, I'm well aware of the circumstances." The littlest Weasley suddenly moved into view -
Ginny. Draco felt more in control. A younger girl, and a Weasley to boot? Piece of cake.

"Listen, Weasley," Draco sneered. "No one asked for your company up here. I certainly didn't."

"I was walking by and I heard someone crying," she retorted, not caring about the edge in his voice.

"Bugger for you. Now go away."

"Well, are you all right? Bloody hell, what am I saying. You're probably sniveling about one of your bodyguards leaving you
for some real friends," she muttered.

"Yes, you haven't any idea how much that upsets me, Weasley. Why?" he queried, letting his eyes travel down her black-clad
body, eyes lingering around the short cut of the Hogwarts skirt. "Come to comfort me?"

"Don't even think it, you bloody great prat," she spat at him. "You're disgusting."

"Thank you," he said absently. "If you haven't come here to play master and slave, then go away."

"You are an enormous arsehole, you know that?" she demanded, blushing. Draco grinned lazily. "There's the door. See you
later, my little handmaiden."

Ginny glared daggers at him. "A complete, utter arsehole." She turned on her heel and disappeared into the shadows.

Little Virginia's gotten up a bit of spunk since her fifth year, Draco mused. Something else is different, too- "Weasley,"
he called after Ginny.

The moving shadow stopped. "What do you want?"

"Have you done something to your hair?" Sure enough, as Ginny turned to face him, her locks glinted silkily in the moonlight.
Her hair fell in tumbled curls just past her shoulders. "Nothing much," she said warily. "Sleakeazy's Hair Potion."

Draco nodded. "Nice."

Ginny's eyebrows shot up. "What?"

"I said it's nice," Draco repeated.

"Oh." She turned back, and continued walking. "Thank you," she added over her shoulder.

Draco sat back and looked at the sky. Oddly enough, the stars seemed warmer than they had when he started crying. It probably
wasn't just him, either.

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Don't worry, there'll be more. Just waaay too lazy to type it all up. The really angsty stuff starts in the next couple
chapters...