AU. "There will come a time when a being of unassuming proportions will bring doom to heaven and hell…" DMHP, RWHG. Fusion with "The Demon Ororon".
Interlude I: The Mercy of Demons
It was a beautiful night.
It was the type of night that one would stop and admire. The full moon hung heavy and ripe in the sky, shining brightly and illuminating all below… so bright that it seemed a mockery of day. The leaves of trees rustled in the slight winds, whispering to each other about all their secrets and gossip that only trees would know. There were no clouds to filter the sky, only the dim stars that were outshined by the brilliant moon that night.
It was truly such a pretty night.
Draco breathed out a breath of smoke as he hung his arm from the back of the bench. The cool temperature on his face was a welcome relief against how hot it had been during the day. The passageway he had come through was empty, perhaps because it was so late at night already. No sane person would be wandering around alone so deep in the park at such an hour, no matter how bright the moon might shine down on them.
He had fled after Harry had fallen asleep. Fled because he didn't want the memories to catch up with him. He had never wanted to know about what happened back 'home'. He didn't want to see Ron again and be reminded that his place wasn't really with Harry; that he had responsibilities and obligations he had left behind.
Bring the cigarette to his lips; Draco inhaled another breath of smoke.
A shimmering figure shifted beside him on the bench, also staring at the stars while he smoked.
"Want to hear something crazy?"
Draco didn't look toward the voice. He continued to stare into the night sky even as the fingers of the person next to him pointed towards the trees.
"Can you see them? Those bogy monsters trying to hide in the trees? They told me that even though people who've murdered or committed suicide couldn't go to heaven… if I killed the demon king, I could be saved."
A long and thin cooking knife dropped with blood.
A glimmering flash of long, dark hair shimmering in the darkness and emitted an emotion darker than the blackest of night. The pale hand that held the knife dropped back onto the bench lifelessly, bending at an unnatural angle. The blood continued to flow.
Drip… drip… drip…
"Do you think that's true?"
The voice was almost childish, uncertain and seeking a confirmation that it couldn't find. Draco puffed out another ring of smoke, brushing back his hand with his unoccupied hand. He didn't feel up to a conversation up at the moment, but he certainly didn't feel like wallowing in his emotions.
He breathed out another puff of smoke. "I don't know."
The pale, blood-stained face turned towards him, half surprised that he had answered. But then the face smiled pleasantly, and Draco could see the trees and the rest of the part faintly behind the translucent head.
The dark hair once again obstructed the face. "I wonder what it means to be saved."
Draco wondered as well. Could a demon even be 'saved'?
Perhaps 'saved' was the feeling that he got whenever he was around Harry, around the boy with those beautifully clear green eyes and that distantly faint smile. But Draco didn't know. He had never been told what it felt like to be saved.
The iridescent woman stared up into the night sky, hair unmoved as a breeze slipped past. She smiled mysteriously, her hand never moving from that odd angle it was left in even as the faintly shimmering blood continued to drip, drip, drip onto the ground.
"I killed myself." She had a faint smile on her face, slightly crazed with memories and thoughts. "I killed my lover… then myself. He was going to leave me, that's why…" she turned toward Draco, her smile growing wider and more painful with each word that she uttered. "It's the age-old tale of jealousy, I'm afraid."
The smile disappeared as suddenly as it came, replaced by a melancholy expression of longing and bitterness. "He was going to leave me."
The figure of the woman stood up, her legs barely able to support her as her hands fell to her sides again, still gripping tightly to the knife but with enough cracks and tears in the skin of her arm to show that she had met with resistance when she killed her lover. The loose tearing of her nightgown splayed out in imaginary wind, blowing up her long dark hair to stick to the blood on her face.
Draco sat watching her.
"What does it mean to be saved?" Her voice had reverted back into its childishness, innocent unassuming to the horrible events that led to her death. She stared with empty eyes out into the dark shadows of the trees in the park before turning to Draco, tears evident on her cheeks. The tears were transparent as well, the only color gracing her ghostly body being the red, red blood and her dark hair.
She buried her face in her hands, trying to wipe away the tears and rubbing hard at the blood to try and get it off. "Do you think I'm scary? Do you think I'm deranged?"
She looked up again, but this time her childishness and sadness was gone, replaced by a look of pure fury even at the thoughts of her life. Her lips were twisted into a scowl that reminded Draco of a wild, threatened animal. Her blank eyes now held a hidden light within that was clearly murderous and inviting him to say the wrong thing.
Draco didn't react.
Her eyes narrowed at his nonchalance. "Do you think I'm ugly, then? He called me a cow… Said that he was fucking fed up with an ugly bitch like me. Do you think I'm-"
Draco blew out a puff of smoke, his grey eyes focusing on the angry figure of the ghost before him. He smiled at her, empty and cold but exactly what she needed to see.
"I think you're beautiful."
Her murderous expression disappeared as she wiped the remaining tears from her face. "Some people say that to be courteous, but they don't really mean it. Others say it because they are scared of what I would do if they said otherwise."
Draco raised an eyebrow, but didn't question it, instead choosing to answer instead, dropping the cigarette butt onto the ground and then stepping on it, grinding it with his heel. "You look like my mother when she died… mad from poison. I think it's sexy."
That sweet, innocent and child-like smile appeared again, as did the transparent tears.
She closed her blank eyes, turning her face to the night sky in search of a release from her eternal pain.
"I want to die."
Draco didn't comment that she was already dead, seeing that the ghost had said this with utmost seriousness. The demon stared into the night sky as well, perhaps seeking the same thing that she was seeking. But whatever comforts the ghost woman took from the sky; Draco could find none of it for himself.
She took a shuddering breath, one that rattled her dead lungs and the broken ribs in her body.
"I want to disappear… forever."
Salvation… was it really salvation that all humans sought after? Somehow, Draco doubted that naïve thought.
He shifted, tilting his head up to catch her dead gaze. "I'm no angel… I can't offer you salvation." Somehow, it comforted him to say that, to admit to her that he couldn't save her… but he might be able to help her. Could one be proud of being creature of darkness? "But… as the demon king, I can kill you. The spirit you. I can make you disappear entirely."
She stared at him for a moment, accessing what he was saying.
"Would you, then…? Kill me?"
Draco smiled coldly. "But if you killed me, you would be saved."
The wind came once again to rustle the leaves in the trees, hiding the sounds made by shifting shadows behind the thick tree trunks, all desperate to see what was going on. There were whispering about the conversation, about what the bushes and the flowers had just heard from the demon and the ghost.
"What does it mean to be saved?" She echoed, her hair rustling in the breeze that almost seemed to touch her if there weren't leaves around flying straight through her figure. She shook her head sadly, focusing her eyes towards the whispering trees. "I don't think I can trust those bogy monsters… besides, I wouldn't even know how to be saved."
Draco stayed quiet.
"What is your name?" she asked as she handed Draco the long knife that she had held so possessively before, letting him pry it from her broken and mangled fingers. She wrapped a translucent arm around his shoulder, looking as if she needed his help to stand up.
Draco accepted the knife gratefully, wrapping his free arm around her waist to hold her steady.
She laughed… a bitter and broken sound coming from a bitter and broken woman.
"Draco… that's such a strange name."
Draco gave that empty smile of his. "So people say."
Her eyes once again glazed over. "You know… I never liked people. Human beings are bastards. Insensitive and cruel, using others to justify their own flaws and imperfections. People used me my entire life… and I was tired of it. I'm so tired of it all. I've never seen an ounce of kindness before now.
"But I like you, Draco. You are… kind." She buried her face against his neck, wrapping her arms more securely about him as she felt a sudden spike of fear at what was going to happen. But that fear was immediately repressed, replaced by a feeling of numbness, of gratefulness that her suffering in both life and death would soon be over. She closed her eyes.
"Goodbye, Draco Malfoy."
Draco raised the knife high above his head, watching with mute fascination as the blood continued to drip down in endless torrents, never ceasing as the tears of the ghost never ceased to fall.
He hugged her to him tighter.
"Sweet dreams, mad woman."
And he brought the knife down.
A crash and the delicate sounds of breaking glass.
Hermione looked up from where she was collecting the tea cups from the table out in the patio, her eyes knotted with concern when she saw that it was Harry who had dropped the teacup onto the ground, his fingers bleeding as he had broken the delicate cup by clenching too hard on it. His eyes were blank for a moment, staring unseeing at the glass pieces at his feet.
"Harry?" she called out, concerned for his wellbeing. "What's wrong?"
Instead of answering her, Harry turned his gaze onto the clear, night sky.
Note: This was my favorite, favorite part in the book (I know I changed some things around and added in extra dialogue and stuff when it was perfect in its own abstract form...) and I really hope that I didn't butcher it too badly! And in the end when Chiaki (Harry) was supposed to be crying, I didn't want to do that because Harry's a guy and I always thought a shocked silence worked better than crying anyway. ;; Hahaha... two weeks of not writing a single creative word... oh, I am out of practice! :D