Dedicated to Brittney Miller...


Life is not measured by the breaths you take

but the moments that take your breath away...


I've always hated weakness. Weakness in myself, weakness in others, I hated all forms of it. I always vowed not to be weak and so I went through my school years as a cold-hearted bastard. People hated me and I hated them. I even hated the people I liked. I merely used them to get where I wanted to go. Crabbe and Goyle were useful for bodyguards and Pansy ... well, Pansy was useful for a cover-up.

Cue seventh year. Three days before I'm set to start and I was ashamed to admit that I felt weak. Not emotionally, but physically. I felt as though my body had been drained of all its energy. It wasn't the first time it had happened either. I'd had these little bouts of weakness on and off for the past couple of months, but that poignant day, Friday July 29th, was the weakest I'd ever felt. So much so, that I went into my library on the lower ground floor of my home and opened a copy of Diagnosis SOS.

I was told to place my left index finger on the first page and wait approximately fifteen seconds for the book to diagnose my problem. As promised, fifteen seconds later I was given the name of my disease.

Leukaemia.

I didn't know what the fuck it was, I couldn't even spell it. I couldn't even pronounce it, but as long as I knew what it was, it could be cured, right? Wrong. The tiny print at the bottom of the page made my knees buckle and when I'd reread it several times I threw the book across the room in fright.

Muggle disease.

I hate muggles. Always have, always will. I see them living their pathetic lives, with no magic and it makes me laugh to see them trudging through life, depressed, miserable, for them only to die quicker than they ever expected. But now I was diagnosed with this ... illness, I felt closer to them. I hated it.

I cursed the wretched book into oblivion with my wand and tried to forget about what it said. Easier said than done. Whatever I was doing, wherever I was, the word kept on imprinting in my mind.

Leukaemia.

I didn't know anything about it other than the fact that muggles caught it and it was making me weak. Something had to be done, so, very inconspicuously, I saw a muggle doctor – thing at a hospital. I was amazed to find out that they actually had one of those.

I entered the ugly building with my dark shades on and passed the weak muggles. A muggle child was sitting on a chair. It was a girl from what I could see but her hair was almost unapparent, save for a few strands on her bare scalp. I shuddered, and then laughed at the fact that muggles thought this type of fashion looked cool. I rubbed my hand through my own head of blonde hair and sneered at her. She didn't even notice as she sat there playing with her toys and I carried on to the reception desk.

"I have leukaemia," I announced shortly. The woman behind the desk, a red head that reminded me of the Weasel, looked taken-aback.

"Er ... okay, well if you'd like to take a seat, the doctor will see to you in a moment," she replied uselessly.

"I don't need to see a doctor," I snapped impatiently. "I have leukaemia, I want to get rid of it, tell me how to."

She looked sympathetic and I had a good mind to hex her into a slimy toad for feeling sorry for me. "Wait a moment, I'll see if I can fit you into an emergency slot," she said kindly. Fuck her, I didn't want her pity. I just wanted to get the cure and go.

Sure enough, I was bundled into a doctor's office where the fat old guy said in a slow, wheezing voice, "I understand you think you may have leukaemia young man?"

"Yes," I replied, "So if you'd like to give me the cure so I can leave, that'd be great."

He leaned forward in his chair, and I leant back in mine. "To proclaim you have leukaemia and be so sure of it, is quite remarkable, especially at a young age. However, if you are so sure of it, then it is a bit confusing as to how you don't know that cure's are not that simple."

The cryptic way in which he spoke reminded me of old Dumbledore at Hogwarts, and it infuriated me. However, this guy seemed to know what he was talking about, more than the other creeps in this place, so I had to stay on his good side.

He explained that he wanted me to ask a few questions, signs that people with the disease had.

"Pain in the joints or bones?"

"Yes," I replied reluctantly.

"Bruising and bleeding?"

"No," I replied, until I remembered the nosebleed I had a couple of days ago. "Wait, I had a nosebleed the other day. And I felt my mouth filling up with something a couple of weeks back, and I spat out some blood."

He nodded gravely, and my heart gave a shiver. "Night sweats?"

"Yeah," I replied miserably.

"Weight loss?"

"I ... er, I'm not sure."

"Loss of appetite?"

"Yes," I answered, a little frantically, "look, does this mean I've definitely got it?"

He sighed and folded his arms. "The symptoms are there," he said finally. "Naturally, I'll run a few tests before officially diagnosing you. I'll need to take a physical examination of you, and a blood test before we'll know for sure."

I nodded and the next few hours passed in a blur. The physical examination, the doctor told me, showed that my liver had slightly swelled up. A blood test was taken which confirmed that I had caught the fucking thing.

"Why?" I demanded, as though the doctor himself had put it there.

"We do not yet know how leukaemia is developed," he replied, "but we –"

"Fucking shit muggle technology," I shouted, standing up and pacing around the room. I wanted to fucking burn down his office. I then realised I let the word muggle slip but I was so angry I didn't care. I hated to admit it, but I was scared as well. I didn't know anything about the thing yet it was inside of me. I may not have knew what it was, but it sure knew who I was, infecting my body.

"I understand you're upset," the doctor replied in his wheezing voice, "but I must please ask you to control your anger."

I spun round and looked into his eyes, ready to take him out with a Crucacius, to watch him squirm and writhe under my power. But sadness was evident in the soft blue crinkled spheres, and I found myself sitting down, rather shamefacedly. I considered apologising, but that was taking it a step too far.

"I will not lie to you, leukaemia is not always curable," he said. "Only three in ten adults survive it."

I let out a low cry. "I can ... die from this?" I whispered, my voice cracking with emotion. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I wiped them away furiously. "How long? How long have I got to live?" He didn't answer at first. "TELL ME," I screamed hysterically.

"We will take a small amount of your bone marrow with a needle and syringe," he said quietly, "which will tell us what type of leukaemia you have. Until then, I am afraid I cannot, and would not wish, to give you a specific timeline."

I nodded numbly. "Okay," I replied in a small voice. I looked down into my hands and hated them. The leukaemia was probably running through my fingers right now. I was suddenly afraid that if I touched myself, it would spread faster. Was it contagious?

The doctor extended his hand to me. I hesitated before a small smile crept over my face. I took his hand in mine and gave him a bone crushing vigorous handshake.

"Thanks for your time doc," I said, making sure my whole hand was engulfed in his. If I was going down, I was going to take the rest of the world down with me.

"If you'd like to go out to reception, you can book an appointment at a later date so we can conduct the bone marrow test."

"Sure thing doc," I said vaguely, willing the leukaemia to transfer itself from my body into his. He pulled his hand away and I watched him to see if he looked any different, but he didn't. And I still had an aching feeling in my leg, so I figured it was still there. I felt scared about this, but at the same time, strangely calm. I guess it was my Slytherin instincts kicking in.

On the way out a red ball being thrown fast towards me greeted me. My reflexes snapped into action and I caught it at the last second. I scowled, ready to curse whoever almost took the head off my shoulders with the damned thing.

"Katy, be careful!" a boy with black hair said. He ran towards me grinning. "Sorry about that, my sister has bad aim," he said, jerking his thumb in his kid sister's direction. I saw it was the bald headed freak I'd saw earlier on. She smiled mischievously. I reckoned she was about eight or nine, not old enough to punish her yet. I could punish her brother, but he was cute, so I let him be.

As I said earlier, Pansy was just a cover up. I couldn't stand girls, they made me sick. It wasn't immaturity; it's just that I was gay. I didn't particularly want to be. I'd saw the way gay people behaved, and it made me ashamed that I was associated with those flouncy queens. It wasn't until meeting a couple of gay wizards face to face over the summer that I realised that not all gay people had to act like that. Still, I knew my father would certainly not approve, so I kept it to myself, and must admit, found I was envious to watch those boys have fun with each other that Summer, not a care in the world, happy that they were out and living life being themselves.

"Katy, try and aim the ball to me next time, okay?" he said, walking over to her. He turned around and apologised to me again.

"No worries," I said, and carried on home. As I walked through the muggle street I kept wondering if it was obvious I had leukaemia. Did they know? I tried to watch their actions towards me, to see if they gave me strange looks, or moved away from me in disgust, but nobody acted like I was an outcast. That thought wasn't very pleasing either, however, as they obviously thought I was one of them. I suppose I was, with this wretched thing growing inside of me.

I walked down a dark alley I'd passed earlier on and picked up a brick disguised as a portkey. As soon as I touched it, I was transported to my room at home. The jerky ride made me fall on my back when I arrived there, and I didn't bother to move, as I breathed heavily, tired out from the rollercoaster ride.

It was unbelievable. I, Draco Malfoy, was going to die. Inevitably. And with that bold declarative statement drumming itself evilly in my head, the tears started to flow from my eyes. I cried bitterly, hating myself, hating the world, hating the fucking disease, hating everything.