A/N: My first fanfiction for this site, so here it goes! Many thanks to my endlessly patient beta, Sam (Empress Malfoy) and to Draco Malfoy for being my inspiration.
Disclaimer: I'm definitely not brilliant enough to come up with something as magnificent as the Harry Potter books. All of the characters belong to J.K.R.
Draco climbed out of the bed to stand behind her. "Will you miss me?" he asked, sliding his arm around her.
"I- I don't know," she said, her voice shaking.
She felt his lips brush against her neck. "Well, that's an excellent way to boost a man's confidence," he commented wryly.
"You don't understand," she said, sighing. "I don't even remember what it was like to live without you." Her voice was cracking as if she was having trouble speaking. "I don't know what it'll be like. I don't know how I'll feel. I just…" Her voice broke off as she took a deep breath trying to regain control over her emotions. "I don't know anything anymore."
Taking a deep breath, she wiped the tears from her cheek and pulled out of his hold on her. "What are you doing?" she asked. "The doctors told you not to get out of bed. You're going to faint or something." Gently, she pushed him backwards until he sat down on the hospital bed.
"I do appreciate the concern but it's not necessary." He smirked at her. "I may be dying, but I am still a Malfoy. Malfoys do not faint."
She walked over to him. She pushed him gently to get him to lean back against the pillows propped up at the head of the bed. "You are so stubborn."
He moved over in the bed slightly and gestured for her to lay next to him. Quietly she climbed in the bed, curling up on her side next to him and wrapping her arm around him. "You'll be okay," Draco insisted as his hand gently stroked her hair.
She fought back tears as she responded in whispered voice. "Easy for you to say. You get to die. You're not going to be left here all alone."
"We had a good long run," he gently reminded her. "Twenty years together."
"It wasn't long enough," she replied vehemently. "Every year we were together it felt like only a day. And every day we were apart felt like a year. And now you're going to leave me alone for the rest of my life," she added accusingly.
"You'll be alright," he repeated certainly.
"How do you know that?" she asked, wanting to believe him but not being able to.
"Because you're the strongest person I know," he said, his voice so comforting. She closed her eyes and savored the sound that would soon be lost. "Everything you've been through, everything we've been through, you got through it all. And at the end of the day you can still smile. That's more than I can say for myself."
She stubbornly blinked back tears. "But I got through all of that for you. So that I could be with you. What's the point now?"
"For me," Draco said softly. "Get through it because I need to know that you'll be alright. Promise me that-"
"Draco," she interrupted him, "you know me. I never was good at keeping promises."
He smiled as if remembering something pleasant. "I know. But I can't die unless I know you'll be alright." His voice sounded so calm, even when facing death. Of course, she knew he probably just didn't want to seem afraid, not even to her, not even at the end. "Just promise me that you'll be strong. Promise that no matter what you'll keep living."
A million thoughts rushed through her mind, a million memories as she tried desperately to decide what to say to. Then she made her decision. "I promise," she said simply. She laid her head back down on his chest and they didn't talk for a long time.
Night came. The room was dark. And both of them knew that it was almost time. They each knew the manner of his death - in his sleep. The doctors had tried everything, but he stayed the same. The said there were some things even their magic couldn't fix.
As each second past she found it got harder to breath. She had so much to say, but couldn't seem to find the words. "Draco," she finally whispered She felt his breath beneath her slow. "Draco," she said again with more urgency, "I will miss you. I will." As soon as she said these words, she noticed that he was still. His breathing had stopped; she couldn't feel his heartbeat.
He was gone.
She sat up and looked down at her husband. She had promised herself that she wouldn't cry, but she felt the tears roll down her cheeks. "Draco," she whispered again. She took his stiff hand in hers and brought it to her lips to kiss it. "I'm sorry," she whispered to him softly. "It's not that I don't love you," she insisted, hoping that he could hear her. She carefully put his hand back down on the bed. Her hand started shaking as she dipped it into her pocket and pulled out a small vial. "I'm just-" she broke off as she furiously wiped the tears off of her face. "I'm just not very good with keeping promises." Trembling, she brought the vial to her lips and, before she could change her mind, swallowed it's contents.
She gasped as she felt the liquid flow down her throat leaving a burning sensation. She lowered her self back down to lay next to him. She rested her head on his unmoving chest and wrapped an arm around him.
She took a deep breath to calm her fast beating heart. She closed her eyes and began to feel the death wash over her. She began to wish that she didn't have to die. She wished that she could bear to live without him, that she didn't have to love him so much. She wrapped her arm tighter around her husband and allowed herself to fall asleep to a sleep she knew that she would never awaken from, accepting her death.
After all, there were some things even magic couldn't fix.