Disclaimer:This story is based on characters and
situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but
not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and
Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark
infringement is intended.
Warnings: I don't think there is anything to be afraid of. Hopefully.
Illusion of the Heart
Written by Mysticalsoul
Draco looked up when he saw Ron and Hermione make their way into the Great Hall for Breakfast. He looked down, though, because Potter wasn't with them. It didn't matter, anyway, because Draco didn't want to see Potter. Who cared about Potter anyway?
But when Draco looked up again, Harry was making his way out of the Great Hall. Draco silently regarded the black headed boy with a tilted head, and looked back down. He chose not to wonder where Potter had shown up along the lines, and really, he didn't care. No one cared about Potter.
At first, Draco thought it was Crabbe and Goyle.
"Stop it, you're being annoying." He would hiss unrelentingly. The irritation in Draco's voice showed on his face by the creasing lines of his brows and the hardheartedly sneer sculpted on his mouth. The two bigger boys would look confused (the expression that Draco saw more often that ever) before they gave him a bizarre look mixed with befuddlement and perplexity. Their faces would scrounge up, and Goyle, the bigger than the two (who probably also had a bigger brain) would be brave enough to voice out his question.
"What were we doing, Draco?"
And by the unorthodox expressions on his face, Draco knew that they had no idea what he was talking about.
Then Draco thought it was Pansy.
"Parkinson, keep your mouth shut." He would growl with a rumbling in his throat. When Draco looked up at her, he was greeted with nothing more than sheer bewilderment. Silence reigned between them, and Draco then realized that she had not said anything to begin with. Living with this girl for six years in the same vicinity, he would know that she didn't know how to act – and right now, when he looked at her face, she was not acting. She clearly had no idea what he was talking about.
"Excus-?" She would start to say, but Draco just held up his hand.
"Never mind, don't even bother." Draco said, and looked back down at his Potions Assignment, avoiding the ill regarded emotion so evident in her face.
He knew then that something was different.
"Excuse me?" He asked snootily. He disregarded the silent disdainful flash that sparkled in Professor Snape's eyes, and instead, he crossed his arms in front of his chest. He put on a meretricious expression to hide his amusement, but he was unaware that someone was watching. Someone was waiting.
Surely you jest, Draco thought.
"I said, Mr. Malfoy," the older man would drawl, "Your housemates are worried about you. They say you have been hearing voices… is that true?"
"Of course not." He snapped, and then and there, he decided that Snape was crazy, but not only that, but everyone there was crazy. His eyes caught hold of Pansy, Millicent, and Crabbe and Goyle beside them.
"This conversation is finished, Professor." Draco stated with a drawl and took a step back. Snape made no move to stop him, and instead, made way for him to exit the common room. Taking that as an initiative, Draco strode past him without a look back, but as he passed Pansy's worried eyes and Crabbe and Goyle's menial expressions, he decided that they were fools. They had no idea.
"I find it funny, Potter, how you can just stand there and not do anything and look completely and utterly pathetic." Draco drawled. He was caught calm and collective when the green-eyed boy turned around, and nothing other passed through his features when Potter gave him a look of absolute immense dislike.
At least when he talked to Potter of all things, Potter wouldn't claim he was crazy. Well, now that he thought about it, Potter would say something as pitiful as that, but he wouldn't actually have a worried or confused expression accompanied with the feeble look.
"What I'm doing here is none of your bloody business, Malfoy, so sod off." Harry would retort cantankerously, and Draco's expression flared up. Potter, of all people, should not speak so superiorly to him.
Draco smirked, though, and his anger lessened as he looked at Potter. There was always something about Potter that would make Draco so annoyed and so angry, that sometimes, it was hard to think and control himself. But Draco was better than that now. He was better than Potter.
With a sneer and nothing else, he walked passed Potter and made his way to the Great Hall for dinner. As he walked, the torches swayed with the gentle breezes his robes created.
And he was unaware of Dumbledore's intense and curious expression.
"Where are we going, father?" Draco droned. The blond boy absently noted the trees and the flowers the carriage was passing by. He didn't know why he had to be taken out in the middle of the school year, truthfully.
"You will see when we get there, Draco." Replied the elder Malfoy. Draco would have disregarded the tone of voice if it were not for something that was evidently present. The voice was sharp and crisp. Not that it wasn't always a little bit that way, but it was a little overly so for Draco's liking.
But Draco just sighed and closed his eyes. His father would get the picture and wake him up when they arrived at their destination.
Draco fell asleep and didn't notice the large castle gates they were entering. Nor did he notice the incredibly large sign which would have made him feel incredibly unwelcome.
Welcome to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
It was cold. And white. And it smelled too pleasant.
He had been there exactly twenty one days and five hours, give or take a few. The food tasted the same, and he even knew the name of the woman in white robes. She smiled at him everyday and asked how he was doing.
Draco would always reply with one thing. It was lonely, but he wanted Potter to go away.
That lady would always smile, and nod, before she told him gently, "Take these white pills, Mr. Malfoy. They will let Mr. Potter know that it's time to go."
Draco didn't know why, but he hated these pills. He really did. He hated the way they were so white and he thought with amusement, These pills are too white, and too pure, because, obviously, I'm crazy... and crazy, mad people such as myself don't deserve such purity.
Then he would roll his eyes and pop them in his mouth, before taking a sip of water.
He gave Draco a look that could only be considered as kind and non-judgmental. Albus Dumbledore placed his hands behind his back as he watched the blond-haired boy sleep in a white room trapped behind a white door. Draco Malfoy was clothed in white clothes, and really, when Dumbledore looked, the blond hair blended in with the white cushions almost as one.
"I'm sorry, Albus, but there is no way to treat this." The man in white robes would whisper quietly, even if there were no reason to do so. Dumbledore would regard Draco, always, before he would reply.
"Have you found out what it was?" He would ask. Dumbledore could feel the man shake his head beside him before taking a sip of tea from a white cup while his other hand held a white saucer.
"No sir. This is quite a unique case. We, at first, thought it was schizophrenia." He took a sip of tea before looking at Dumbledore in his blue eyes. "But it's not. Usually, schizophrenia starts in males around their middle twenties… Draco Malfoy is only sixteen… but not only that; schizophrenia is a very rare case."
"There is no treatment?" Dumbledore would ask, but he already knew this. His expression did not change as he regarded the blond-haired boy on the other side of the door. Several doors down, Albus could hear yelling, but he decided to ignore that.
"No sir… unfortunately, no magical equipment or sources can treat schizophrenia. It's a mind fixture, and impossible to treat." The man paused. "Another reason why we cannot treat this. We believe it's a type of schizophrenia, but not it exactly."
"I see." Dumbledore would nod, before looking at the man, "Actually, Mr. Potter does not attend Hogwarts anymore. He was taken out during the end of his fifth year, but you tell me that Mr. Malfoy still continues to talk about him?"
"Yes sir. He states that Harry Potter is always around him asking questions, and telling him that Gryffindor will destroy Slytherin in their next Quidditch match."
"I see." Dumbledore's eyes suddenly became an intense blue as he looked at Draco. No words were spoken between them again.
"You look horrible." He would say, and Draco would raise an eyebrow at his soft tone.
"Really, Potter?" He would drawl, but then, he would turn away and stare at the white cushions. He didn't want Potter to think he cared, but really, Draco was feeling alone. He had not seen anyone he recognized in one and a half months… except Potter. But Potter's presence… really had no depth. But Draco didn't concentrate on that, and instead, concentrated that someone was there. Potter was there. Harry was there.
"Yes… you didn't take your pills yesterday…" the boy would trail off, and Draco would shrug. There was silence, and Draco knew that Harry expected him to talk, so he did.
"The cow of a woman said that if I didn't want to talk to you, then take the pills." He said simply, and did not say any more. Potter would get the picture that he was feeling unaccompanied.
"I guess I don't mind talking to you too, Malfoy." He would say, and they would leave it at that.
"He misses you, Harry." Professor Dumbledore would say gently and look sideways to the boy on his right. The boy that had been kept in secret for the last seven months in a place that no one knew about except for a special organization called The Order of Phoenix.
Harry, by his side, would not speak. Instead, he watched the blond-headed boy sleep peacefully.
"What is this called, Professor?" Harry would ask quietly. They both remained in silence as the arms on the clock continued to move rhythmically in sync.
"They don't know, Harry. They say Draco is a unique case. I, personally, would have liked to see what they are testing on him, but they say it's confidential." He would pause, and then look at Harry, "But I know he would appreciate a visit from you."
"What's the point? You just told me that he was caught 'talking' to me yesterday because he didn't take any pills or whatever."
Dumbledore nodded his agreement. "I know I did say that. But it wasn't real. I think he would appreciate a real visit from you, Harry."
The real Harry sighed and nodded slowly. He forced a smile and said, "I'll talk to him when he wakes up, then."
Dumbledore nodded and they both made their way to the white couch on the other side of the room.
In a few moments, Draco would wake up.
In a few moments, Dumbledore would watch Harry stand up uncertainly, flash him a soft, subtle expression of tentatively before Harry would close a white door with the numbers 231 on it.
In a few moments, Dumbledore would smile, because, in a few moments, Draco would really see Harry.
He would really see. Dumbledore was smiling now, and he finally knew what to call this.
Illusion of the Heart, he told himself, and waited for Harry to come out so they could take Draco home.