Title: Sanctuary (1/?)

Author: Amethyst

Author E-mail: AmethystJackson@hotmail.com

Category: Drama, Angst

Sub-Category: Romance

Keywords: Draco Ginny Voldemort Dumbledore sanctuary

Spoilers: PS/SS, CoS, PoA, GoF, OotP

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Sometimes, sanctuary can be found where one least expects it — the only thing keeping it out of reach is pride.

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.

Author's Note: I meant this to be a rather long one-shot, but the plot bunny ran away without me, so it looks like this could getlengthy.

~

Witch Weekly

Volume 777, No. 5

Week of November 23, 2003

Welcome, readers, to Sanctuary,' a new mini-series by Amethyst, our so-called Queen of Angst.' (The day you can call this angst is the day Katie becomes a R/Hr shipper.) This series stars, you guessed it, Draco! For what series would be at all good without a heavy dose of Draco? Hopefully, Amethyst will stick to her resolutions for once, and we'll see a second episode — but for now, enjoy this first chapter.

Sanctuary

By Amethyst

Draco lived only for the quiet moments — the times when he could slip away from his House and his family and his own image and simplybe. He liked to sit behind a tree by the lake, just out of sit, where only someone as lonely and mixed up as he was would go.

Lucius Malfoy was no longer in Azkaban, but where he, along with the dementors and the Dark Lord's other followers, had disappeared to was unknown to everyone. Lucius never wrote to Draco anymore, but he did write to Narcissa. She forwarded a few things to Draco — mainly, hints that he would be asked to join the Dark Lord soon.

Draco had learned the Killing Curse when he was fifteen, just after the Dark Lord had returned. His father had taught him, and asked him to kill a pigeon outside Malfoy Manor. Draco had done itand though it was merely a pigeon, Draco could hardly stand the feeling of a life forced out of a body, of the sheer hatred that coursed through him. Once his father had gone back inside, Draco had been sick in his mother's garden. Draco hadn't performed the Curse since, despite his father's instructions to practice.

Draco had wanted to please his father. He always had. It had been his only goal for the first fifteen years of his life. It was the reason he had worked for Umbridge. It was the only reason, other than envy, that he had tormented Harry and his friends. It was the reason for performing those Unforgivable Curses. But in that sixteenth year, he had finally realized that he never could please his father. Lucius Malfoy would always want something more from him, and Draco would never be able to provide that. And if pleasing Lucius Malfoy meant killing, torturing, and controlling, Draco didn't think he wanted to please him anymore.

If he had to join the Dark Lordhow would he manage? Draco wondered often what he would be asked to do. He never wondered what the punishments would be if he didn't, because he already knew, and he never wondered how much torture he would have to go through, because he had been through it. No, the most painful thoughts were always and only of what he would have to do — whom he would have to kill, how many people he would be asked to torture.

Draco had only two choices in the matter — do or die. And many times, he thought he might decide to die instead.

Perhaps he could choose his death. Perhaps he could make it quick and painless, on his own terms, rather than at the hands of the Dark Lord.

Draco wondered why he hadn't killed himself long before. He wondered why he still had any hope at all for his future. There was no getting out of the deal his father had made with the Dark Lord. As the Muggles liked to say, he could run, but he couldn't hide.

And so he waited, going to classes, doing his work to get his mind off things, sitting by the lake until his mind finally shut down.

He had never counted on anyone finding him there, by the lake, let alone stopping to sit with him. But he had been surprised by the least likely source when he had opened his eyes to find Virginia Weasley standing before him.

"Something you want, Weasley?"

"I want to know why you come here every day," she told him, looking him directly in the eye. No one looked him in the eye anymore, save Potter — but Draco didn't look back then.

Draco didn't like the way she barged into his sanctuary. "And just why do you think you have the right to know? Why do you assume that you could ever understand?"

"I don't have the right to know, unless you give it to me. But I'm sure I could understand, as long as you aren't sitting here thinking about quantum mechanics."

Draco raised an eyebrow at her, arms crossed over his chest. She'd never seemed quite so odd before. Perhaps she'd been spending too much time with Loony Lovegood. "What on earth are quantum mechanics?"

"Has to do with Muggle science," Ginny replied, presumptuously taking a seat next to him. "Hermione was going on about it the other daydoesn't make any sense at all, naturally."

Draco shrugged. "When does anything that those Muggles come up with make sense?"

"Never," Ginny conceded, giving him a sideways glance. "Are you going to answer my question?"

"You don't want to know, Weasley. Go back to your perfectly sheltered world before you hear something you'll want to forget later."

Ginny glared at him. "Do keep in mind that my perfectly sheltered world had included being possessed by You-Know-Who when I was 11 and fighting Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries, breaking my ankle in the process."

Draco almost smiled. "I forgot about the diarybut still, you don't know. You've never been on the other side of it"

"And you have?"

He laughed hollowly. "Weasleymy father taught me to do all of the Unforgivable Curses. I assure youyou'll never be able to comprehend it."

Ginny seemed to pale slightly. "You know the Unforgivable Curses?"

Draco nodded, looking across the lake. "I could kill you right now, Weasley. And I could torture you first. Or I could control you, but you'd break that spell quickly I could do it. I know how."

She was tempted to get up and run, he could tell. She didn't want to be there any longer, next to someone who had killed. She wanted to run back to the castle and tell the professors. But she wasn't moving.

"Would you, Draco?"

He looked over at her. "No."

"Then does it really matter that you can?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

Draco sighed. He didn't feel like explaining it. "Not everyone can do those curses. Potter never could. You probably never could. Not because of right and wrong, but because you don't have the hatred. But I do, Weasley. I can hate enough to do them, but I can't stand the feeling And if I refused to do it, they could kill me. Just like that."

"It doesn't have to come to that," Ginny said.

"Oh, it doesn't, does it? And how do you propose I keep my father from killing me if I refuse to join You-Know-Who? I have to live with him, for Merlin's sake."

"You don't have to go back."

"Where else would I go, Weasley?"

"Dumbledore would protect you," she said. "All you have to do is ask."

Draco shook his head. "I'm not going to go begging to Dumbledore."

Ginny stood, brushing her robes off. "If your pride is worth more than your life, Draco, then so be it. Don't expect anyone to help you if you won't ask for it."

She walked off, leaving him to consider her last words.

To Be Continued