An Abused Child

January 1, 2003

By Megan Austinson

Of course Harry Potter and all doesn't belong to me, as my name is not JK Rowling.  This fic is rated PG-13 for child abuse.  This is a one chapter fic and will not be continued.

"Daddy, no, please don't," I begged, hating how pathetic and weak my voice sounded to my own ears.  He said nothing, but then, he seldom had much to say when we did this.  I mean, when he did this.  I had no part in this, it's not my fault.  At least, that's what she tries to tell me.

But if my mother is right, then why doesn't she stop him? I asked her that once.  She said there were worse things he could do to her.  That she'd end up taking my place.  I suppose she's right.  But what about me?

Don't I matter?

It's not like I can tell anyone else.  He'd probably hand me right over to the dark lord.  Besides, what would I say?  "Hello, I'm an abused child"?  Not only wouldn't they believe me, but I've still got scars from the last time I tried to tell someone.

All of this flickers through my mind as he stares impassively down at me.  Then he speaks for the first time since he yanked me off my bed and threw me to the floor.  "I told you not to call me that."

"S-sorry, sorry, F-father, I forgot, it, it just slipped out…"

My stammered apologies were wasted as he lifted his arm and brought it down quickly.  The thin leather belt he held cracked across my back, tearing into my skin through the thin Muggle t-shirt I wore.

I bit back my screams for as long as I could.  Lash after lash met my back, metal buckle occasionally colliding with the back of my head, and yet he was relentless.  The louder I screamed, the harder he hit.

Until something seemed to snap inside him.

I heard the belt hit the far wall and thought, Finally, he's done.  Then rough hands grabbed my thin shoulders and I too was thrown against the wall.

As I tried to catch my breath, he dropped to the floor beside me.  I could see the rage in his eyes as he carefully trailed one finger down the side of my tear-stained face.  Unusually silent, he began punching and slapping me.  By the time he exited my bedroom, leaving me crumpled on the floor, I knew my face was a mess.

It was a while before I recovered my senses enough to push myself upright and stagger into my bathroom.  The sight of my reflection in the mirror made me groan.  He was usually so good about when and where he left his marks on me.  If something important was coming up, he'd either make sure the marks were coverable or he'd wait until after.  Could he have forgotten that I was leaving for my third year at Hogwarts tomorrow?  Concealment glamours were out of the question.  He'd caught me using one once to cover a bruise and the resulting beating left me sore for a month.  Apparently he likes to see his handiwork.  Sick bastard.

As it turns out, it's all a test.  Will I tell the truth?  Or can I come up with a plausible story to explain the marks?  Was I ready, at thirteen years of age, to pledge my allegiance to the dark lord?  Of course I came up with a good story; after all, I'm known for being a liar.

My friends asked about my face of course; I swear, those two would believe anything I tell them.  Rumors were flying around the room at the opening banquet, but anyone who asked got the same story.

My stomach is full of butterflies; it's time for our first potions lesson of the year.  Professor Snape somehow always seems to know what's going on, what I'm thinking.  I pray that he doesn't notice this time.

I am careful to come in just before class starts, so he doesn't have the chance to question me.  Slipping into the seat closest to the door, I manage to avoid his probing eyes.  As usual, we are to make a potion during class.  He walks around the room, checking our work.  I tense up as he approaches me, but all he does is lean over and whisper, "I want to speak to you after class."

I nod, trying to ignore the lump in my throat as my heart starts pounding.  I'm still not sure what Snape's status is.  Death eater or mole?  I wonder if he even knows.  After class I dawdle as I put my things away, waiting for the rest of the class to leave.  The room is soon clear; everyone always rushes to leave potions.  I'm still messing with my things when he calls my name.

"Mr. Malfoy."  My head jerks up at the sharp tone in his voice.  I see his eyes soften a bit and he says more gently, "Draco."  He motions for me to come to the front of the room, which I do.  He grasps my chin with gentle fingers and lifts me head.  I avoid his piercing eyes as he studies the bruises that cover most of my face.

"It was an accident, we went on vacation.  See, Mother has been wanting to go to Spain," I begin babbling.  He places a finger over my lips, shushing me. 

"Who did this to you?"

"I said, it was an acci–"

"Who did this to you?" he sternly asks again, interrupting my nervous babbling. 

I bow my head, unable to answer.  A single tear runs down my cheek.  A hand comes to rest on my cheek and I can't help but lean in to it, allowing it to caress my bruised cheek.

"Father," I manage to whisper. 

Hello, my name is Draco Malfoy.  I am an abused child.