Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
At that time all he wanted to do was walk straight into the Forbidden Forest and never return. He wanted the shadows there to take him before he descended into darkness outright. For once in his life he wanted to listen to his heart, or what was left of it, and do what was right: but then again neither what was right or what was easy were really options to him at that time. Only what was both wrong and hard for him to carry through with was an option at that time: it was either that or die at the hands of his father, the Dark Lord and all his other demented followers.
He turned to the nearest tree and hit is with all the force he could muster, channeling his rage into it. The only thing he achieved by doing that was making his knuckles begin to bleed, but he paid no heed to that. If blood would still bleed from him then he was still alive, though at that moment in time he almost wished he wasn't. He quickly cast a healing spell over his bleeding knuckles, turned and rested against the rough trunk of the tree and stared out into the black velvet night.
The moon was new so only the pinpricks of silver-stars against the heavens cast any light at all. He preferred nights like that, when he could go round undetected by others – and where he could not see the moon. It's silver glow made him uneasy; it reminded him too much of what he had had to become. The moon was as cold, aloof and distant as he was now: but he wished that he had become otherwise.
Sadness inside was overwhelming but he did not cry: he couldn't, he'd forgotten how: and besides, Malfoy's never cry, that was one of the first lessons his father had told him. They were Slytherins; cold, aloof, uncaring… just like the moon. They could not show emotions; the moon did not show emotions, the moon did not cry.
"You look so sad," a voice whispered in his ear. He turned around but there was no one there. "Don't go into the forest: you'll only get hurt if you do."
He wanted to tell this disembodied voice that even death would seem a blessing to him at the moment, but he didn't; after all he could not tell where the voice was from, it might be one of the Dark Lord's spies.
"There's a reason the forest is forbidden," the voice continued. "They don't want us to get hurt."
Draco shook his head – he was certain that this voice was not one of the Dark Side's spies. They would never speak in that manner… and if it was he was past the point of caring.
"What if I was aiming to hurt myself?" he spat. "I don't know who you are but you have no right to tell me what I can and can't do. I've had that all my life and I've had enough."
"Such as?" the voice sounded curious.
"Such as having to do everything my father tells me. Such as having to act all superior to people when I don't really feel like that. Such as having to pretend to hate people because of their blood when it really doesn't matter. Such as my entire goddamn life."
He quelled the rage; he could not afford to loose face any more, if only for his own sake.
"If you don't want to join them then don't," the voice advised.
"I either join or I'll die, and there's nothing worse than death."
"There are plenty of things worse than death," came the reply. "Like being locked inside your own mind after being tortured to insanity: like following someone else's life and choices rather than your own: like having to live in guilt about the wrong choices you have made."
Draco sighed and nodded; he could see the logic there, even if it differed immensely from all that he'd been taught before.
"There are ways out," the voice said. "There are ways to deceive them. You could always fight for what you believe is right while making them think you are still loyal to their cause."
"Go to Dumbledore: he'll tell you."
Draco turned around, "who are you?"
The air a few feet away from him moved about in a strange fashion: a cloak dropped to the floor and none other than Hermione Granger was revealed to be standing there, a sad smile on her face. She reached down, scooped up the invisibility cloak and walked over to him.
"Malfoy," she nodded in reply. "There are ways out of the situation you're trapped in; go to Dumbledore; he'll help you."
With that she disappeared back into the night and left him by himself on the edge of the forest. He wondered whether he could believe her, whether she was helping him for his sake, whether his family's prejudices had really been nothing more than illusions. He looked at her as she walked away and felt tears come into his eyes: no matter how much he wanted to follow the truth he couldn't. The road of righteousness was blocked to him, no matter how much he wished to follow it. He could not pledge alliance to a man he had been bound to kill. That way was forbidden to him and there was nothing he could do to right the wrongs that had been done. As the darkness enveloped him he felt a single tear trickle down his cheek and fall to the floor, but in the blackness of the night there was no one to see him crying.