AN: I wrote this based around a poem I wrote. The poem, in full, is down the bottom after the chapter. The chapter is based completely around the poem. I am not certain whether to make this a multi-chapter story, or to leave it as it is: a kind of depressing one-shot. If I receive enough support to continue it, I might. If I don't receive much support for continuing, I'll leave it as it is.
I wrote this as a way of getting something out of my system. It helped…sort of. If anyone else can relate, that's great.
By the way, in my world, HBP never happened. Which makes this AU. And it also involves mild Harry/Draco slash. Consider that your warning.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
Too Good For Me
Many people believe that my parents are cold, uncaring, unloving. I have heard rumours my father would insult me, hit me, and who knows what else. The same rumours said my mother either knew but didn't care, or knew but didn't do anything through fear of her husband. The tales about the inner workings of the latest Malfoy household in existence were unbelievable - and yet, people still believed them.
Contrary to what anyone had ever said about my family, we were not like that. My father had never insulted or hit me. He was, in fact, a quite satisfactory father. When I was much younger he would play with me and read to me. As I grew older he taught me important things about life I needed to know.
My mother, on the other hand, has never been anything resembling the Ice Queen society made her out to be. She was warm, caring, and genuinely loving. When I was not with my father, she would take me for walks around our estate, teaching me about the different plants and wildlife that flourished around our home.
In particular, I can clearly remember a day when I was around 5 or 6 years old. It was a clear, crisp autumn morning. I had woken up, and gotten dressed. Upon exiting my bedroom, I heard my mother calling me. I ran to hers and Father's bedroom, doing a running leap onto the large, soft bed. She pulled me to her and kissed my head.
"Good morning, my Dragon." She smiled. "This morning I have an important thing about life you need to know."
I turned to her and listened intently.
"I know you are still very young, but you must learn this about life. There will be people in it, my Dragon that you will care about. Some you will care so much about they will be all you can think of. But if you throw yourselves at them too quickly, once they leave you will be hit too hard. Promise me my Dragon that you will begin to protect your little heart now, so in future, you will not be hurt."
I nodded and said meekly, "I promise, Mother."
She kissed my forehead. "Good boy." She smiled. "Run along, now."
That lesson has stayed with me since then. Since the age of 5 I have been building a wall around my heart, trying to protect myself, as my mother asked me to. The end result is that to others I seem cold, distant. Some would even go so far to describe me as an icy bastard. But I am not. I'm just protecting myself from being hurt.
I remember the day I went to Diagon Alley to get my first set of school robes. I can vividly remember the small, skinny, dark haired boy who came in not long after me, also to get his school robes. I can remember the conversation I had with him word for word. It makes me wince, now, to remember what I said. I didn't realise it at the time, but I came off the wrong way. No wonder he looked at me the way he did.
I can remember the first day, on the platform, with my mother and father introducing me to the sons of their friends. Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle. I talked to them, and they seemed nice enough. My mother and father kissed me goodbye, and my two new friends and myself boarded the train.
I remember I went down the train looking once I heard that Harry Potter, the boy who lived himself, was on the train. I found him and to my surprise saw Harry Potter was the small, skinny boy I had talked to in the robe shop. I offered my friendship, and he pushed it away.
From that moment, purely for the fact I had tried to be nice and he was needlessly rude to me, I despised the sight of Harry Potter. Over several years, as I worked on the walls around myself, I emerged only to throw insults at him and his friends, to try and make his life hell. I felt like everything fell away when he was nearby. It all disappeared when I saw his green eyes darken, his cheeks flush in his anger.
About a year ago, after an after-dinner confrontation with him, I went to bed and lay reminiscing about what had happened. I pictured the darkening eyes, the flushing cheeks, the pissed-off scowl, and the venomous words that fell from his lips. It was then it occurred to me, I had made Potter hate me. When I realised, I didn't hate him.
The next day when I saw him, I distinctly felt my heart skip a beat. It was to be only the beginning, when weeks later I had been experiencing butterflies in the stomach, light headedness, shaking knees…everything that was a textbook sign of a crush. I didn't know what to think. I found I didn't want to protect my heart anymore. I wanted to tear the walls down and open it up to him.
But when I went to talk to him, I saw the hate, and the anger flaring deep within the emeralds of his eyes, and I realised I didn't need to do that. Without even trying, without me barely even realising it, Potter had been working on breaking through my wall as I tried to build it. And now, he had succeeded. He had torn it down. I had no defence, nothing to help me act like I didn't care. I had nothing to protect me anymore.
Suddenly, my days began to pass by more slowly. Every time I was near him it would burn me from the insides out to see him and know how much he hated me. He had taken everything I had worked for away, and had left me to struggle along.
I didn't ever realise exactly how much he meant to me until after a particular confrontation. I sneered my insults, like I always did, even though it hurt to do so. His eyes widened, and then narrowed, and he spat with poison, "I fucking hate you, Draco Malfoy."
Even I was surprised at how much that hurt me. I cried for hours, wondering why hearing his name, or seeing his face, could make me feel so happy, and yet when the same thing happened to him, he waved my existence away. I was nothing to him, and for a reason I couldn't quite comprehend, he was everything to me.
Because I had been raised to believe that if you are a Malfoy, nothing is impossible, I set about trying to change myself to try and alter Potter's opinion of me. I figured it couldn't be that hard, if I just stopped insulting him so much. And looked devastatingly handsome as I did so, of course.
Unfortunately, my ingenious plan didn't work. When we were paired together during a Potions lesson, I attempted to be civil with him. He thought I was up to something and became suspicious, and then angry. It culminated with him yelling at me about how being suddenly nice wouldn't get me on his good side and not to try any funny stuff on him or his friends or he would hunt me down and kill me.
Needless to say, after that I realised the whole 'being nice' concept wasn't right when it came to Potter.
I attempted different methods over the following weeks, with the end result being the same each time – Potter just ended up hating me even more.
Now, things haven't changed much. I still have an exemplary relationship with my parents. Father was released from Azkaban not long ago. He told the Ministry he was going to risk everything to switch sides. Contrary to many opinions, it wasn't a lie. He had become sick of following the orders of a crazed, power-hungry fool. Now, at the instructions from Dumbledore, my parents have gone into hiding for a few months. Around Christmas time, they'll return, which is when the Order will step in and provide security and safety for them, and me I guess, once I return home.
Until then, they send me a letter from their hiding spot about once a fortnight. If I'm lucky, I get one every week. Each is pretty much the same, assuring me they're safe and healthy and that they care about and miss me, and they'll see me soon.
I'm still friends with Greg and Vincent. Despite many people's opinion of them, they actually aren't that stupid. They're quite intelligent when they want to be, and endlessly loyal.
Although, I won't argue with their reputation when it comes to food. They could eat anything, I swear.
After earlier years, Pansy has learnt that I am not interested in her like that. She is actually a beneficial friend now. It's good to have a female friend to help me with my clothes and hair, and who knows a lot of gossip. She long ago figured out that I have a crush on a male, although much to her annoyance she still hasn't figured out who it is.
Blaise is also a friend of mine now, although unlike Pansy, he still harbours a 'thing' for me. I try to ignore it when I can, but sometimes, especially when we all have some Firewhiskey or something, it's difficult when he's slurring all over me.
Potter, of course, hasn't changed a bit. Over the last year, my feelings have strengthened, and I'm fairly comfortable with saying I'm in love.
Yes, I'm in love with Potter.
We still have confrontations, and he and his friends insult me, me and my friends insult them back. He has said some truly hurtful comments to me, which I do my best to pretend don't hurt as much as they do. I'm getting really sick of playing this stupid, childish game of hatred though.
It may be hard to realise why, when he's so mean to me, I would love him. My answer is simple though - I observe him around everyone else. And it's clear to see that with anyone else, Potter is kind, caring, loving, loyal to a fault…just everything you could possibly hope for in a friend.
Or even boyfriend.
I know he only acts like that around me because I was so nasty to him during our first few years in Hogwarts. Maybe if I hadn't been so addicted to that feeling of everything disappearing when we clashed, we might be something close to acquaintances now – maybe even friends.
But the point is, I was. And he was so…perfect. He is so perfect. I can never measure up to someone like that. He's such a beautiful person inside and out, and I, I'm flawed and…well, I just know it cannot happen. He's the Gryffindor Golden Boy, everyone's hero, and everyone's saviour, loved by all. I'm the Slytherin Ice Prince, everyone's enemy, and everyone's fear, hated and despised by all. I would just never be good enough for Potter.
It's lunchtime. My friends and I are seated halfway up the table, as we always are. I'm flanked by Greg and Vincent, facing us is Pansy and Blaise. The younger Slytherins treat our entire group with a respect bordering on fear, which has gotten kind of old by now.
Across the hall, I can see him, sitting in almost the identical Gryffindor counterpart of my seat, flanked by Granger and Weasley, facing Thomas, Finnegan and Longbottom. They're all laughing at something Weasley it talking about.
Ignoring the pang of jealousy that stabs quite suddenly through my heart, I turn my attention back to the happenings at my table. Greg and Vincent are eating silently, as always. No conversation potential there.
Blaise and Pansy are discussing the various hairstyles of a group of third years further down the table to the left, arguing pleasantly about whether said hairstyles suited the different individuals or not.
Ordinarily I would join in to this, but I just don't feel like it. Briefly, I wonder what's wrong with me.
There's a shout of laughter from across the hall – I look around and see a heedful of messy dark hair leaning on the table, the owner's face alight with happiness as he laughs.
'Ah.' I thought calmly. 'That's right, I forgot. I'm in love. How silly of me.'
Despite myself, I wonder what the point of being alive is when all you do is think about the one you love. I'm not exactly the world's happiest person, far from it, but I'm not usually the kind of person to have those thoughts. Being in an impossible love for so long was beginning to take its toll on my will to live.
I think back to what I was before the revelation when I realised how I felt. I was a lot happier and calmer and less distracted back then. I think I prefer the way I was to what I am. Sometimes it felt like I had given Potter all of me, and without complaining, he had just taken everything. It didn't really seem fair.
'But it's not like it's your fault.' My head told me. 'You've done more than enough to try and let him know. You did everything to let him know except actually marching up to inform him you love him.'
Bah. Everything I've done, and he still acts like I don't exist – like I'm nothing more than a meaningless little ant outside in the grass of the grounds.
I glare across the hall, where he still remains seated, surrounded by his friends. They're chatting quietly now, laughter having subsided. He doesn't seem to be joining in with the conversation, though. Instead, he's studying his food, eyebrows knitted.
I take in everything he has become. Dark, unruly hair, lightly tanned skin, body gently defined…green eyes burning constantly between dark eyeslashes, and soft pink lips.
I whimper, very quietly. I can see that mouth from here and the sight makes images from my dream the night previous flood my brain. We kissed, and it had been the most perfect, heavenly kiss I could ever ask for. And then, my stupid alarm clock just had to go and decide, just as we were about to kiss again, that it was about time I woke up.
His friends begin to stand, gathering their bags. I watch as they exchange conversation, and Potter flicks his hand in a manner that seems to suggest, 'Go on ahead, I'll catch up.' His friends exit, and he bends down over his bag.
A minute or so later, he straightens like his friends had done, and goes to move towards the oak doors of the Hall. He bumps into a small, possibly second or third year girl's chair, upsetting her meal.
I watch him stop, immediately apologising and leaning over to help her clean up her spilt goblet of pumpkin juice. He chats to the girl and her friends as he cleans, and once everything is back to normal, he straightens again. He smiles warmly at the group, waves, and departs. The group of girls immediately put their heads together, giggling and whispering – no doubt talking about how Harry Potter had just talked to them.
I sense my mouth is slightly open. How can someone be so perfect? How was it physically possible for him to be so damn perfect and nice to everyone? And why did my younger self have to have been such an idiot he spoilt all of my current self's chances with Potter?
Once his robes disappear behind the oak, I resume my attention back to my friends. Greg and Vincent are still eating, although they've progressed to dessert. Pansy and Blaise have switched to another group of slightly older girls, this time further down the table to the right.
I drain the last of the pumpkin juice in my goblet and wait for everyone to finish. All I want to do is go to bed. Surely they'll finish soon.
Half an hour later, we finally exit the Hall.
Having said goodnight to Pansy at the stairs to the girls dormitories, the rest of us head up the staircase leading to the boys' dormitories. Upon reaching our dorm, every fans out to their own beds to do their own thing. I reach my bed, and after pulling the green hangings shut, change into my silken pyjamas.
For an hour or two, the room is filled with the scratching of quills as everyone starts up some of the homework we were given, occasionally punctuated by a question asked related to the work.
I lie on my back, listening to the sounds and letting them wash over me like a lullaby. I should probably be doing my homework as well, but not for the first time, I know I would not be able to concentrate on my work.
Eventually, the scratching of the quills slows, and finally stops. My friends change into their pyjamas as well, and various goodnights are chorused around the room. All lights go out, all hangings are closed, and silence invades.
My eyes feel like they're burning. I take my wand from the bedside table and place a silencing charm around my bed.
Just in time, as I feel the first of many more tears leak out of my eyes and slide slowly down my cheeks.
For a long time, I lay with my head on my pillow, staring into the green of the hangings, letting myself cry. The tears fall slowly but consistently, all ending up on my bed sheet. Soon, I have a mark the size of a grapefruit from my tears there.
It really sucks when you know you just aren't good enough for the person you love. That nothing you do or say will change anything – they're perfect. And you cannot measure up to that. They hate you, and you love them. You're opposites, supposed enemies. In short, wrong for each other.
I remember the books my mother read to me when I was young - the ones where the main character had a big, seemingly impossible problem, that they didn't think they could ever overcome. The entire book consisted of them trying to figure out how to solve them. By the end, they had come up with a solution that worked perfectly, and the book would have the perfect happy ending.
It doesn't seem to me like that can ever, possibly happen for me. My situation was definitely, and genuinely impossible. I could be optimistic and keep searching for my solution, but at this point it might as well be in the same hiding spot as my parents - I didn't know where it was.
I smiled bitterly through my tears. I wondered what Potter would do if he saw me like this. His hero complex would come in, and the other side would be arguing with it, telling it that it was Malfoy they were dealing with here. I can see him, crouching next to the bed, watching me cry, not knowing what to do. And I stare back.
"I wish," I murmured, "I could take all my pain and send it to him, and make him feel it ten times worse. I wish I could take the sound of me crying my tears and make it echo in his ears forever, ten times louder than the original."
I smile at the thought. That idea was very, very appealing.
I love Harry Potter. With everything I have. But it's a love that causes me pain every day.
Maybe my mother should've taught me how to maintain the wall around my heart, no matter who it was trying to break through.
It's too late now.
AN: OK, here is the actual poem.
I trained myself not to care
Coz I thought that meant I couldn't hurt
But then you came along and took it away
I'm just struggling in this world
You're everything, everything to me
And I know you barely register my name
Tried to make myself better
I'm sick of this game
I guess I should just face the fact
I guess you're too good for me
I guess you're just too perfect
I guess we aren't meant to be
Staring straight ahead thinking of you
Where did that will to live go?
You stole everything from me
Can't say I didn't try to let you know
Sent every possible clue I could
And I just might as well not exist
Drowning in images from dreams
Where you and I, we kissed
I guess I should just face the fact
I guess you're too good for me
I guess you're just too perfect
I guess we aren't meant to be
Night falls and I'm crying
Lying on my bed
I'm not here, don't mind me
So sick of the thoughts in my head
You're near as you always are
I look you in the eye
Tears descending down my face
And listen to me cry:
"I guess I should just face the fact
I guess you're just too good for me
I guess you're just too perfect
And I guess we aren't meant to be."
They say every story has a happy ending
Well I'm looking and mine is hiding
My darling, can you feel my pain?
Can you hear me crying?
So there we have it. Once again, I don't know whether to just leave this as a one shot where it doesn't end happily, or to continue it and maybe like make each chapter based around a poem? I don't know. I need help deciding. So please, please review and let me know what you thought of this, and suggest as to whether I should keep going or just leave be.
And while you're doing that, it would be great if anyone looked at my other story, which upon the release of the latest chapter, all the reviewers have run away. So I don't have nearly enough reviews to update that one.
Anyway, thanks so much for reading and remember, please leave a review letting me know what you thought, and make a suggestion if I should continue or not. Thanks again!