Title: The Sixth
Author: Aoife Malfoy
Word Count: 9,154
Rating: NC-17 for violence and language
Genre: Pure unapologetic Angst
Challenge: Jealousy Prompt at hdangst and Prompt# 102 for thedarkgarden
Warnings: AU. Post-HBP.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is property of JKR. Only borrowing for my own twisted means.
AN: They don't die. They're together in the end. Can you really ask for more? This is a happy ending, Aoife style.
Dedication: This is for lucilladarkate who loves me just the way I am and is my designated Dark muse. Thanks, hon!
Summary: Is it really such an evil thing, wanting something you can't have?
Draco watched them silently with a practiced ease that came from doing it for the last seven years. He was always the outsider, an interloper to their Gryffindor-infested world. He knew that switching sides would prove to be arduous, simply because of this fact. He was an oddity here; the only Slytherin in the Inner circle of the Order, which was why he stood in the shadows. He knew that it would be too much to hope for them to accept him with open arms in a fit of goodness like their stereotypes demanded of them. The truth was always far from reality. No matter how many life threatening missions they went on or how many harebrained unity games the mudblood cooked up, that would never change. Some prejudices are far too comforting to give up. He knew that fairly well because he subscribed to it himself.
He was pulled from his thoughts by gentle laughter and he nearly smiled at the sight that greeted him. Harry was caught in a fit of hilarity over something or another, his emerald eyes glinting with mirth as he clutched his sides, his head thrown back with peals of laughter. That was all it took for Draco to remember the one thing that helped him put up with this lot.
Who welcomed him with a bright smile and a pat on the back after the required months of endless furious rows and duels as well as Veritaserum-verified interrogations.
Who saved his life more than once on missions and never said a single word about it after.
Who spent time with him when he didn't have to and who looked for him when he was gone.
Whose unwavering friendship, loyalty and faith outweighed everyone else's frosty attitude.
Who slowly but surely fought his way into claiming a piece of his heart. Something that had horrified Draco to near death when he discovered it.
Whom he loved.
Who didn't love him back.
He closed his eyes as he tried to keep that last thought at bay. It served no purpose to dwell on a truth he could not change, though not for the lack of trying. He had tried countless times to convey his feelings to the clueless git but to no avail. He had even gone so far as to offer a mumbled "Iloveyou" but the twit only smiled at him brightly, then got his hopes up by saying it cheerfully back, only to dash them all over again when the prat continued on, to list the many other people in his life that he loved as well.
Stupid, beautiful idiot!
And then…then when the bastard saw the horrible crushed look on his face that took him a second too long to hide, he proceeded to try to redeem himself by finishing his ridiculous list with a teasing "But I love you best of all!", no doubt thinking that this joke would erase the strange, sad look on his best mate's face.
Clueless silly tit!
Didn't Harry see? Was he really that blind? Did he not realize that the sole answer to I love you would be the exact same sentiment as well? Not a list of other people whom he shared the same feeling with. Not some cheap swill about being loved best amongst others. Because really the only answer he wanted was something ridiculously simple.
I love only you.
He shook his head. But it wasn't really that simple, was it? Nothing that involved Harry Potter ever was. For that was who he is and how he would always be. His heart, so pure and golden, was too big to contain only one person. He had a smile for everyone and a polite word for whomever he met. The boy loved the whole world, regardless if it loved him back.
And he, he would always be Draco Malfoy. It was who he was and always would be. His heart, so cold and broken, was too constricted to hold more than one person. His smile was reserved for only a small few and his politeness for even less. The boy whom the whole world hated, regardless of how much he did not hate it back.
He sighed as he pinched the bridge of his nose and turned away from the jovial scene. These moments happened few and far between now for Harry, it wouldn't do for him to spoil it with his brooding. He had almost made it back to his designated room when he heard raised voices coming from the supposedly deserted den. Curious, he inched his way closer to the room. He could hear the voices properly now and it seemed that deranged one-eyed Auror and the werewolf were in quite a snit about something.
"No! It's too dangerous!" Remus intoned firmly, an undercurrent of steel tinged his voice that was unusual for the normally reticent Professor.
"What other choice do we have? Think about the payoff! We'd have some valuable information in our hands and the location of the last Horcrux!" Moody insisted eagerly.
"You send the boy to his death! Marked or not that is not something I'm going to stand for!" Remus snarled, finally loosing his grip over his temper, especially when he saw the almost gleeful look on Moody's face every time he suggested who he'd assign this mission to.
"He's the only one who has a shot in hell of doing it and you know it! Malfoy Senior wouldn't talk to anybody else! But if he believes his precious son has come groveling back to him then it could actually work! What do we have to lose?" Moody shot back, equally tiring of this circular argument.
"Draco's life, in case, you haven't been listening to yourself!" Remus growled, furious at the indifference Moody was showing. How could he be so cold towards someone who had betrayed his whole belief system to fight for their side? Granted, Draco's choice was more in the interest of self-preservation, but who bloody cared? He had done what was right by them and that would always be worth Remus' respect for the troubled Slytherin.
"You're not really giving me much incentive to change my mind," Moody said offhandedly.
"Now listen here, Moody-" Remus looked to be gearing up for one hell of a tongue-lashing when a soft voice interrupted him.
"He's right," Draco whispered gently. When he had realized the cause for their argument, he had bristled with indignation. How dare Moody play with his life like that? Throwing him to the dogs, back to his own father whom he had defied with only a glimmer of hope that he'd survive it? They all knew that Lucius Malfoy wouldn't forgive and forget easily, if he ever did. It was a suicide mission, plain and simple. But then again, wouldn't the results be worth it? Sure there was a ninety percent chance that he'd be killed on the spot, but if he were able to gain the Horcrux's location, that could mean the end of the war. And who was he kidding, really, by staying in this status quo? Did he really think things would change? With Harry? With the whole Wizarding world? He'd always be branded a traitor, to which side it would soon cease to be important. People often thought in the two dimensional and they'd always equate the surname Malfoy with evil. And Harry would always see him as a friend, nothing more. Could he really stand by him as he met and fell in love with someone else? Could he really smile happily as he watched Harry walked down the aisle, and as he pledged his love to another? Be the rich uncle who spoiled his best friend's kids?
The answer to that was a resounding 'NO'. Sooner or later, it would break him and he'd rather not see that day. He never did anything by halves and he loved the clueless git with everything he was. His heart and soul officially belonged to one Harry J. Potter, and to know that this would never be the same for the Gryffindor caused a black void in him that would eventually devour him whole.
"You don't have to do this!" Remus cried out in alarm.
"I know. I want to," Draco answered him firmly. "When do I have to leave?" He asked the stunned Auror.
"Tonight. Meet me outside the house. I'll have your portkey and your briefing," Moody said quickly, unwilling to give the boy anytime to back out.
"I'll be there." Draco replied, his gaze unwavering from Moody's magical eye.
"Hmph. You better be," Moody growled low as he walked past him.
"You shouldn't have agreed to that, Draco," Remus said quietly, his voice infinitely sad.
"It would be worth it," He answered resolutely and he turned to leave.
"He wouldn't think so," Remus whispered sorrowfully.
Draco stiffened at the implication of those words. Damn the werewolf and his astute moments! Still with his back to the man, Draco stated harshly, "But he'll never know." Then he left the room as the werewolf's sigh answered him, satisfied that his request, no matter how sharply delivered would be obeyed.
Later on that night…
Draco dreaded walking into that living room, but he steeled himself and did it anyway. Harry, no matter how clueless or insensitive, deserved a proper farewell after all. He crossed the threshold quickly and managed to catch the boy's eye just as he entered.
"Draco! Come join us! We're playing cards!" Harry urged him enthusiastically.
"Why are you inviting him, Harry? It's a muggle game. I doubt he'd want to play. Don't want to taint his pureblood hands with filth and all that," Weasley grumbled snidely.
"Shut up, Ron! You don't know that!" Harry snapped at his friend irately and gave him a sound thwack upside the head for good measure.
Draco smiled wistfully at that and for a second he was more than tempted to take Harry up on his offer and trounce the Weasel King in whatever game they were playing. But there was no more time for that. He'd made his choice. He couldn't back out now.
"I can't, Harry. I have a mission tonight," Draco said softly. Then gesturing with his hand, he urged him to follow him out into the hallway. "I need to talk to you for a second."
"Oh okay, sure!" Harry replied with a smile as he fell into step with Draco. "Ron! No peeking at my cards!" He bellowed over his shoulder. Then looking up expectantly, he asked, "What's up?
"Oh I just wanted to say good-bye, that's all. Couldn't stomach doing it in front of the Weasel King."
Rolling his eyes, Harry snorted. "Honestly! Will the two of you ever grow up? Well, I guess we can't practice Quidditch like we were going to."
"No, sorry. And Harry, I-" Draco looked away suddenly, afraid he was going to break down and embarrass himself by crying or something equally humiliating. Making up his mind, he quickly hauled the bewildered Gryffindor forward by the front of his robes and pulled him into a desperate hug.
"Take care of yourself while I'm gone," Draco demanded fiercely as he buried his face in the crook of the boy's neck.
"Eh? Draco?" Harry asked in confusion, astonished to find himself in the arms of his most standoffish friend.
Forcing himself to release the boy even when it felt so right to have him in his arms, Draco straightened quickly and avoided looking into those questioning emerald eyes. "I'll be off. See you later, Harry." Then without a second glance, he began to walk away. His heart thumping loudly in his ears and his breath coming into short pants, he widened the gap between them. He only paused when he heard his name being called out. Heart in his mouth, he turned and waited for words he knew would not come but was still desperately wishing for anyway. So it still hurt crushingly when all he heard was.
"Can you get me a bag of Chocolate Frogs? Ron nicked my last horde."
He nodded quickly and managed to choke out an indifferent, "Sure."
And then he was outside, out in the streets of Muggle London, being briefed and handed a portkey. He made sure to stop first and fulfill his errand before quickly activating his portkey and then he was gone.
The next day found Harry humming to himself as he leaned back further into his chair. It was nice, having time to relax and take a break between his training sessions with Remus. Although for some reason, today the werewolf seemed strangely preoccupied. Perhaps it was almost time for the full moon. He was about to ponder that further when a delivery owl flew through his open window. Seeing the Honeydukes label on the package, he quickly relieved the bird of its packages and tore at the parcel excitedly. He crowed happily as he saw the bag of chocolate candy. But why didn't Draco deliver it himself? Then he noticed the note attached to the package. Picking it up, he began to read the letter and almost choked when he saw the message.
He shook his head in confusion. This couldn't be right! How could this be? He ran from his room to find Remus. The letter fluttering gently onto the ground for anyone to pick up and peruse. If they had they would have read:
I love you. I love only you. Enough to want to end this, if it'll help you. I'm sorry I couldn't work up the nerve to tell you to your face. It seemed easier this way for the both of us. Remember what I said. Take care of yourself.
Meanwhile Draco breathed deeply, in order to calm himself. He looked around the area where the portkey had taken him, Chateau Vienne. He had loved this place as a child, spending countless summers running through its majestic gardens, laughing and playing with his mother. He shook his head and dragged his eyes away from the alcove. Those days were long gone and he was a fool to waste time thinking about something that would never happen again. Steeling himself, he quickly took down the wards the way Moody has specified in his briefing. He walked stealthily towards the underground passage that he knew his Father had secreted away. It was heavily warded by blood magic and only a person with Malfoy ancestry could enter through it. Praying that Lucius hadn't had time to reset them to exclude him after his very public disownment, Draco cautiously treaded down the ancient steps and breathed a sigh of relief when he made it to the bottom without being eviscerated in the most gruesome of ways. His father hated thieves and they almost always died by the nastiest curses. He really must have been very busy since his escape if he had neglected to reset the wards in all of the Malfoy lands.
Soon enough, he was reaching the end of the long drafty corridor and he was able to make out the rusty trapdoor. He tested it slowly and finding that it budged, carefully opened it after casting a Silencio. Seeing no one around, he quickly ducked low and made for his father's den, knowing without a doubt he was there getting ready for his meeting with some Death Eaters if Moody was to be believed. Hopefully, Lucius would be alone. It'd be much easier convincing him if the man didn't have an audience to cater to. Draco was, after all, very aware of how different his father was in public than in private.
Taking a deep breath, Draco stood outside the mahogany door. He knew his father fairly well and his reaction to the return of his prodigal son was highly predictable. He would either welcome him after a series of endless hours under Cruciatus or he'd kill him on the spot in a fit of rage. Somehow knowing he was rooting for the first option wasn't making this any easier. He was about to open the door when a sound from behind startled him, he whirled around to face his attacker but a spell hit him from the back and as he faded into unconsciousness a familiar voice followed him into oblivion.
"You make this too easy, son."
"Ouch, my head." Draco winced as he came to. He peered at his surroundings as he sat up. He couldn't see anything; the whole place was engulfed in darkness. He gingerly stood up and tried to find his wand which he'd just realized was missing. He was about to go into full panic, having just remembered whose voice it was that he heard before being Stupefied when
Ah you're awake finally. It's about bloody time! Goodness knows you've been keeping me waiting forever!
"W-What the- Who-" Draco tried to form a coherent sentence. It was hard considering the throbbing pain in the back of his skull and the fact that the voice he heard sounded suspiciously a lot like…himself.
My how eloquent you are. Bloody hell! Is this what the Light side has reduced us to? Some blubbering idiot who can't even string a few words together?
"What the fuck? Who the hell are you?" Draco snarled, his temper rising steadily. He didn't care if the voice sounded like him, whoever it was would be dead once he could get some goddamn light in here!
So now we're incoherent and stupid? Someone's really going to die for this! Isn't it obvious? I'm you…Or rather I'm that part of yourself that you've been suppressing. The one you abandoned when you decided to go round the bend and swim in Gryffindor-infested waters.
"What do you mean? That there's a secret special part of me that's all snarky and evil?" Draco laughed incredulously. His father's parlor tricks were getting really lame. "You need to try harder than this, Father!" He yelled out, his words echoing within the darkness.
Quit that bleating, you prat! You're in my dimension now. Besides this isn't a trick or some effect of a potion. I AM YOU. I know about every feeling you have and every thought that's ever passed through your mind. I know that you discovered you were gay back in third year when you got hard after playing a Quidditch game against Harry. I also know that you carry this pathetic little torch for the Scarred One. We're really lowering the standards quite a bit, don't you think?
The voice suddenly erupted in evil laughter, amused at Draco's unrequited feelings.
"Shut up! Don't you dare mention Harry! Augh!" He screamed as he beat his skull. "Get out of my head!"
Moron! What part of I'm you, don't you understand? The only thing that's going to do is make us dizzy. Besides I'll mention him all I want. They're my feelings too, as pathetic and unwanted as they are. Really, we could've done so much better! Blaise was rather fit. Why not him? Instead, we had to have a thing for Scar head. It's rather sad.
Growling, Draco clenched his jaw. "I said shut up about him!"
What? You can't make me. Even now you're hoping he'll come to save you from Father. Playing the damsel in distress, Draco? Think he'll rescue you and beat the baddies then sweep you off your feet? Good Lord! What sort of rot have you been listening to? He doesn't care about us. He will not come. He's probably celebrating now that you're gone. After all, now everyone will start getting on again and he won't have any fights with the Weasel and his pet Mudblood anymore.
"Is that the best you can do? I know he won't rescue me! I don't want to be saved. Fuck, I didn't even tell him where I was going! I know he doesn't care about me, at least not the way I do about him. So what now? What else have you got to throw at me so I can break it down for you? You have nothing!" Draco snarled, incensed that whatever Lucius' game was, it was zeroing in on his unrequited feelings for Harry.
Tsk Tsk. Such temper. No wonder everyone calls us a brat. I have nothing? Well, neither do you, Draco. No family. No friends. No one misses you. No one will grieve your death. Not even him, Draco. Oh he may cry a few crocodile tears here and there because he is such a Gryffindor but nothing more than that. Nothing of which you deserve. Are you just going to lie down and take that?
Draco shook his head, denying the cruel truth in his words. Harry loves him. He wouldn't just forget him when he's gone, would he? Surely he'd come after his father and avenge his death? Visit his grave when it's old and decaying? Surely he wouldn't just be forgotten like the other countless casualties of war that no one ever speaks of. "No! He wouldn't do that! I mean more to him than that!" Draco yelled, clutching at his hair.
It figures that you wouldn't believe me! Well then, let me refresh your memory!
Suddenly a bright flash of light filled the room and there in front of him was a panel of what looked to be a Wizarding picture. Different images of him and Harry were flashing through it.
"Iloveyou, Harry." An image of Draco mumbled to Harry who was hurriedly preparing for a mission.
"Oh I love you too, Draco!" Harry was smiling at screen Draco, and then he added, "Of course I love Hermione too. And Ron, Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley. Make that all of the Weasleys to cut it short! Plus most of the Order members too since we've been stuck here forever and everyone seems like family now. Hey! That felt good listing our loved ones. It keeps up our energy and gives us more incentive to fight Voldemort!" He laughed.
Screen Draco looked down and mumbled in acquiesce, a flash of deep hurt and jealousy flitting through his eyes that Harry barely caught which was why a heartbeat later, the Gryffindor blurted out. "But I love you best of all!"
Draco shut his eyes and covered his ears. He already knew that scene by heart. After all, he revisited it every day, but now looking at it from an outsider's point of view, it was almost too much to bear.
It's rather pathetic that while this is the worst moment in your life, you also deem it as the best. All because Harry had strung the words I love you in a sentence in reference to you. Do you know how sad that sounds? He doesn't love you! Not the way you want him to! He loves you the way one would a pet. One of many. Replaceable. Unremarkable. Interchangeable. Could you really die happily knowing that? Your death would not even be mourned. He'd probably just find another Slytherin to rescue and patronize.
"Shut up! You don't know that!" Draco gasped as his breaths came in short pants and he lowered himself onto the floor, not wanting to hear any more. However, the voice was relentless.
Really? Do you want more proof? Let's take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?
Images of Harry appeared on the panel.
"Sorry, mate. I promised Ron I'd play chess with him. Why don't we talk another time?"
"Yeah sure! I'll be there! I'm sure Hermione would love to go to Diagon Alley as well. She's low on ink already!"
"I will, after the briefing. Mad-Eye said he wanted to talk about something important."
"I wish I could take you, Draco. But I just don't know what the Weasleys would say. It's Christmas, after all."
How can you say that you're any different from the nameless faces he's acquainted with? He places everyone else above you! He'd rather spend time with blood traitors, mudbloods and werewolves than with you.
"I thought I told you to shut up? That's not true! You don't know him!" Draco cried as he hugged his knees and started rocking himself back and forth, trying to keep it all at bay. Sickening realization seeping through his veins and bleeding his heart dry. Harry didn't love him. He didn't care about him and sooner or later he would just be a footnote in history. A friend out of the many that the genial Gryffindor had. Loved amongst the others, until he'd be lost in the crowd. Draco shook his head, tears of remorse welling up in his eyes.
That's right. You love him but he doesn't love you. Draco, you weren't meant to love. We're not equipped for it. Love makes you weak. You know this by now because can you really tell me otherwise while you're on the floor trying not to cry like a newborn babe? Malfoys don't love people, Draco. We own them. We conquer their heart, body and soul until they belong solely and completely to us. That's what you want isn't it? To be the only one for Harry? To not have to share his smile with anyone else? To not have to wait in order to purchase a moment of his time? You can have that. I can give that to you.
"What? How? No! You're a trick! Something my father has conjured to torment me!" Draco snarled as he shied away from the voice.
How many times do I have to say it? I am you. Father didn't make me. I'm already a part of you, you paranoid idiot! I know you inside and out. Your desires, thoughts, and feelings, they're mine too. If you hurt so do I. If you love Harry, I do as well. Can't you see that? This is not a scheme. Think for yourself, Draco. I have faith in my own sensibilities. You'll realize what I'm saying is truth soon enough. Besides I feel your pain. Wouldn't it be marvelous if he willingly spent all his time with you? Without any mudbloods, Weasels, Werewolves and Order members mucking about, taking him away from you? Would it be great if you were the only one he loved?
"How?" Draco choked out, still wary of whom he was conversing with. Although, what he'd heard so far pretty much confirmed it. Who else would know his deepest and darkest secrets except him?
I have a way to make him love only you. That's what you want isn't it? Don't deny it, I feel it too.
"But what will you do?" Draco asked, still not completely sure about all this.
Don't you want him to love you back? Do you really want to lose him forever? Time is running out, Draco.
"I-oh. I don't know! What do I need to do?" Draco sighed, confused beyond belief and drained by his emotions.
The only thing you need to do is consent to it. I will free you from the pain. Just accept me again into your soul where you have shunned me before. I'm still a part of you, all I need is to be released.
Draco closed his eyes, freed tears now escaping from his lids, his voice was strained when he finally whispered, "I accept."
As soon as he said those words, the space around him was flooded by a bright light and then he knew no more.
Lucius smiled when he saw Draco finally cease his violent shaking. It wouldn't be long now. He had trust in Severus' Aperio Abstinentia serum and no doubt he'd be greeting his son back into the fold soon.
"How do you know this will work?"
"Oh, it will work, Bella. I know my son quite well. He is a spoiled brat at heart, a true Malfoy even. After all, a Malfoy always gets what he wants. He will only do something if it gets him what he wants. He didn't defy me out of a fit of righteousness or morality. I taught him better than that. He did so because there was something on that side of the war that he wanted. I just recently found out that he isn't, in fact, getting his prize and so I know he'll come back to me, if only as a means of acquiring that thing he treasures so." Lucius explained with a smirk.
"Is it really worth all the hassle? That potion was hard to come by, Lucius. Severus wasn't pleased." Bellatrix chided the blond. "Torturing or controlling him would have been much easier."
The blond glared at his companion and deftly wielded his cane, landing it a few inches from where the insolent woman's hand rested on the table. "Do not question me, Bella. Draco is my son. When he returns to my side, it will be because he is willing and eager to be there. I will not force him like some mindless cow. He will learn his place and so should you."
"Why, my dear, Lucius. Is that a threat?" Bellatrix laughed sardonically. "You must have forgotten. I am not just some witless chit. I'm His favorite. I'm not afraid of you. Besides you're going directly against His orders. He told everyone to kill the brat on sight. You know how he feels about traitors to the cause."
Lucius smiled sinisterly as he stepped closer to the chuckling woman, all the while fingering his wand. "Will you run along and tell him then? Run back to him like a dog with a juicy bone?" He said softly, with a hint of warning.
Bellatrix threw back her head and laughed even more maniacally. "And what, ruin all the fun? I'd rather you dig your own grave, Lucius, and watch in glee when He finds out."
Lucius held his cold smile as he retorted, sarcastically. "Much as I trust your word. I'd rather not risk it all the same. Obliviate!"
Quickly draping a blanket over Draco's body, Lucius turned to the dazed woman and said calmly, "Bella, your sister wants you to go over some reports with her."
Lucius smirked as the baffled woman hastened out of the room after throwing him a suspicious glare. His smile grew even wider and wicked. Draco was showing signs of waking.
"Welcome home, son."
A year had passed by since the return of his heir and things had been going swimmingly. Draco spurred from love and full of jealousy and hatred for the people that surrounded Potter made for a very effective assassin. Specially trained and utilized, Draco was now a silent force to be reckoned with. No longer the frail effeminate boy of old but someone that had tasted death and liked it. Lucius knew that his plan suited Draco well. The boy was enamored by power, ever since he was a child. To have control over life and death, especially of those people that have slighted him, before was truly an addictive thing. It was also more effective now that the whole world had proclaimed him dead. The Order, who had sent the boy to spy on him, and left him for dead the second he didn't return for his first briefing. They all expected as such anyway since it was undoubtedly a suicide mission. Lucius smirked. Imbeciles! Your loss is my gain.
However, as most perfect plans go, there was still a slight flaw in it. Miniscule really, but still glaringly obvious to him that it gave Lucius a headache to think about. Now that Draco had started dealing in death, he could no longer be controlled. His son took orders from no one, even him, and it grated on his thinning patience. His heir would kill anyone without batting an eyelash, but to place one errant hand on Potter meant a horrible death to all that tried. It was a nightmare just trying to keep Draco's existence a secret from the Dark Lord as the boy had a tendency to kill all whom Voldemort assigned for the job. Rather gruesomely, in fact.
He was thinking about the last grueling session of twenty questions with Voldemort when his thoughts were cut off by the arrival of his son. "You're late."
Draco sneered at his father, shrugging out of his heavy trench coat. "You say that like I should care. Hell hasn't frozen over yet, Lucius, so you still have a ways to wait."
Lucius growled, incensed at the boy's insolence, even more so of the fact that a part of him actually admired the boy for his cheek; like father, like son, indeed. "Cut the snark, Draco." He threw down a file folder. "Granger's next. We found her hiding out in some Muggle town. Dumfries, I believe."
Without batting an eyelash, Draco picked up the file and smiled coldly. "Looks like I'm in for a night on the town."
Draco watched the occupants of the small rundown house shrewdly and it confirmed what he already knew. They were hiding something in that shack. He could see it in the apprehension in their eyes or the stilted way they greeted their neighbors as if they were afraid to be ambushed by something out of the rosebush. Silly muggles! As if I'd ever be as predictable as that! He waited until all the lights in the house went dark and just as a precaution, he hung back for a couple of hours more after that. One could never be too cautious when dealing with the Mudblood. He learned that lesson quite well in third year.
Stealthily, he made his way to the back, thanking Lucius for breaking the Fidelius Charm on the house. It would be a nightmare trying to get in otherwise. He wondered briefly who Lucius had to bribe in order to get such information. Shrugging nonchalantly, he got back to work and soon enough he broke the powerful locking spell on the door. My, aren't we the clever witch? He thought snidely. He ran through the house quickly, making sure he silenced his footsteps. The first bedroom on the right was easy enough to get into and it housed a sleeping little girl that bore a slight resemblance to the mudblood. Must be a relative. Draco gazed at the peaceful figure for a second, marveling in the face of such innocence. He raised his wand deftly and murmured the Curse. He smiled at the girl who was now encased in green light. This way your innocence will never be tainted. He thought happily.
He crossed the hallway and he repeated the same curse on the next two bedrooms he found, effectively killing them in their sleep. It didn't matter that they weren't his objective. It was simply easier this way, more convenient for him. After all, a dead witness is no witness at all. Draco smiled as he gazed at the staircase that led to the attic. He knew he found her at last.
Moving fluidly and stealthily, he crept up the decrepit steps and paused at the foot of the bed. He looked at the figure that was curled to her side. It had been awhile since he last seen her and he could see the careworn lines that the war had traced on her face, making her look old and tired. She looked different from the bookish Know-It-All that he'd always known. Perhaps the war had finally broken that fiery spirit once and for all. One can only hope.
"Draco? Shit! Draco, is that you?" the girl gasped as she peered blearily at him through sleepy eyes, breaking the silence that had reigned the night.
Damn and blast! He had hesitated too long! Lightning-quick, he moved beside her and grabbed her slender neck. "Shut up!" He ordered as he raised his wand and pointed it to her temple.
Sickening comprehension dawned in her intelligent hazel eyes. "Oh my god! It was you! You're the one that's been killing all the Order members! How could you?" She asked, her eyes swimming with tears. Seeing her death staring at her in those grey depths, she shook her head as if to deny it. Chest heaving as broken cries escaped from her mouth, she stared him down defiantly. "He loved you!"
Gritting his teeth, he tightened his grip and pressed the wand harder into her flesh. "Yes, but he loved you too."
Then a flash of sparkling green light later, the house fell silent once more.
Six months later found Draco in another muggle town. The furor over the mudblood's death was great in the days following her murder and it had made acquiring the location of the others quite hard. It was sheer luck that the Death Eaters had captured most of the Weasleys in their last raid therefore making it possible to get this address. Draco didn't know which one of them broke down and sold out the Weasel King; they all looked the same to him. He suspected it was the one that was bitten by Fenrir since the werewolf was their supposed jailer. He smirked. Knowing the blood- hungry werewolf, they were ripped to shreds and were probably bite sized by now.
Draco tightened his black coat around himself. Bloody rain! It would figure that killing the Weasel King would be his most tedious job yet. He surveyed the cottage and the surrounding area, taking note of the location of several camouflaged Aurors that were guarding the place. My, we moved up in the ranks when I was absent, eh Weasel? He thought snidely.
Crouching low, Draco focused his magic inwardly, trying to trigger his Animagus form like he was taught to by the specialist his father hired. The only way to go in unnoticed now was to transform. Cursing Weasley for all the trouble he was going through, Draco felt his magic surged inward. Shuddering, his whole body shifted and soon enough a sleek grey Hawk Owl was crouching in his place. Feeling dizzy by the rush of magic, Draco lay down for a bit. It always took a lot out of him to transform which is why he rarely did it. He always was a piss poor Transfiguration student. Beating his wings, he carefully took flight and circled the area. Seeing the opening in the form of a cracked window in what looked to be the cellar, Draco gracefully landed next to it. Then with a hard tap of his beak, he widened the opening enough to fit his body into the small pane.
Gasping as he transfigured himself back to normal, Draco shivered against the cold dusty floor. Grumbling low to himself, he gathered his wits about him. Now was not the time to rest. It would all be over soon and he'd finally be able to claim his prize. He'd vowed to himself that the Weasel would be his last job. After all, the Inner Circle was mostly wiped out. He had taken care of Moody first, which he had great fun with. After all, the Auror was the one that sent him knowingly to his death and had been the most vocal against his redemption even more so than the Weasel. He was probably his most satisfying kill, choosing for once not the silent and quick death of the Killing Curse but the agonizing burn of insanity by placing him under Cruciatus until he broke and then setting him alight with fire. The Aurors screams still follow him in his sleep sometimes.
It always made him smile.
After that the rest was easy. He quickly went through the rest of the Aurors he knew personally. Shacklebolt, who had manhandled him during his Ministry interrogation, then that pink-haired Auror that they told him was his cousin. He snorted. As if. She wasn't in the tapestry so she was not family. On and on it went until their numbers dwindled immeasurably. He was thankful that the one murder he didn't have a hand in was Lupin's. That was solely and completely Fenrir's doing. If there was one person, besides Harry, that he couldn't stomach to kill in cold blood, it'd probably have been the gentle professor. He shuddered a little. At least, the man had a quick death.
Voldemort, in the meantime, was having a hell of a time trying to look smug about the whole thing and trying hard not to look as baffled as Draco knew he felt. The Dark Lord had no idea who the Hit Wizard was but had been taking full credit for the body count. He snorted. That actually suited the Slytherin just fine. The less likely all this could be traced to him, the better his chances were for the future.
He crept slowly up the ancient steps, making sure to silence his footsteps as per usual. One of the things he learned earlier on was to silence the whole area before proceeding, especially the first time he went out to kill Moody. The squeaking of the floorboards had alerted the already paranoid Auror and it had taken at least three more weeks before the bastard let his guard down again.
Finally, he reached the bedroom where Lucius had said the Weasel was staying. It wasn't easy. He had to dodge about three other guards doing their watch. Automatically silencing the room as he entered it, Draco closed the door without making a sound. Finishing a magical and visual sweep of the room, he edged slowly to the foot of the bed. There Ron Weasley was sprawled out on it in all his freckled glory. Wrinkling his nose, he was about to raise his wand and just finish the job when he stopped. Why should he make this quick and easy for the git? He never made it easy for him! He had fought him every step of the way during his brief stay with the Order and had whispered darkly into Harry's ear whenever he got the chance. He couldn't count the number of times Harry had abandoned him in favor of the redheaded freak or his family. Glaring darkly at the sleeping man, he grasped his wand, cast a powerful locking charm on the door and some spells to alert him if there was anyone near the area. Then he turned to the Weasel and poked him hard in the ribs, taking great pleasure in the painful moan that it caused.
"Huh? What is it?" the redhead sat up and rubbed at his eyes. Then catching sight of the sneering blond, his jaw dropped and he gave a shout. "What the fuck? Malfoy? You're supposed to be dead! What the hell are you doing in my room?"
"Why, I came to pay my dearest freckled friend a visit. It gets so lonely when you're supposed to be dead." Draco retorted snidely as he fingered his wand.
His eyes widened in realization, Ron reddened with rage. "You! You're the one whose been killing off everybody! You're the Hit Wizard! Fucking hell!"
"Uh-uh not so fast, Weasley. Any more quick movements like that one and it's AK for you." Draco taunted him as he pointed the wand straight at the git's heart.
"You murdering bastard! They all trusted you! They fucking mourned you when you died! And this is how you repay them? How you pay back Harry? You killed Hermione, you damned asshole! What's next after you kill me? Are you going to kill Harry too? Gods I knew it! I knew we should've never taken your sorry arse in!"
"Shut up, Weasel!" Draco ordered the ranting moron but the idiot could not be stopped, not even when Draco pressed his wand harder to his heart.
"Slimy git! I told Harry you couldn't be trusted! You're a Malfoy for fuck's sake! But did he listen? No, of course not! Because you were weak and pathetic then and of course Harry must rescue you!" Ron raved, his whole face purpling with rage.
"I said shut the fuck up, Weasley!" Draco growled as he stepped closer to the boy. The tip of his wand dug painfully into that freckled flesh.
Ron glared at his captor with utter loathing and spat at him. He snarled defiantly. "I knew I was right about you."
Draco shook his head, anger and remorse warring in his mind before he grabbed the dagger in his pocket and embedded it in the Weasel's chest. Blood spurted everywhere, spilling on the sheets and on his clothes but Draco didn't care. His anguished grey eyes locked onto pained hazel.
And when he saw the light in those eyes slowly growing dim, he whispered softly to the dying man.
"You didn't have to be."
He left shortly after, making sure that Weasley was really dead before he left. After all, he didn't want any witnesses. He smiled broadly as he transformed once more and flew home. He finally did it! He was done. He was finally free to be with Harry.
He forced himself to wait the requisite months before seeking the Gryffindor out. He had waited too long and had worked too hard to blow this now by giving in to his impatience. Besides he knew he had to wait for Harry to become desperate and broken before approaching him. He would give him a purpose again. After all, what's a hero without anyone to rescue?
Finally deeming that it was time, Draco hid himself away from everyone, refusing to eat or drink for weeks. He didn't shower. He didn't bathe. He let his hair grow limp and greasy and his skin looked wan and sickly. He couldn't very well claim to be an abused and maltreated prisoner without looking the part.
At last the day came when all of his efforts would pay off. He'd chosen this date carefully for it appealed to his morbid sense of humor. The Ministry was having a tribute to everyone who had died recently in the War Against Voldemort as a way to raise morale or some such rot. Draco chuckled wryly. How fitting that he be saved at his victims' memorials. He would pretty much be dancing on their graves.
He Apparated excitedly, making sure he wore clothes he had found in one of his father's dungeons. He reeked and he had looked like death warmed over the last time he checked himself in the mirror. It was perfect. He appeared in the middle of a crowd, causing a commotion. He staggered slowly towards the front where he guessed Harry would be. Hunger and thirst making him genuinely dizzy, he stumbled the last few feet and fell to the ground.
"Draco? Draco!" someone cried out as he fell. Smiling broadly, Draco raised his face and was met with the sight of Harry Potter for the first time in over a year. The young man was obviously falling apart. His clothes didn't match. His glasses were broken and were being held together by muggle tape. He was disgustingly thin, enough to rival Draco's own slimness. His shrunken eyes were rimmed heavily with red.
He was still the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.
Draco smiled through his cracked lips and soon he found himself held by strong arms. Blissfully he surrendered to the embrace, glad to finally be where he belonged. Harry was ecstatic and was babbling on about something or another. He tried to keep track but exhaustion and too many months living on the edge came crashing down on him. Draco gave into oblivion, knowing that Harry would still be there when he'd awaken.
The next few days following his return were a blur. The toll of living his life so dangerously for over a year plus the self-inflicted starvation made him drift in and out of consciousness. He awoke finally after the fifth day to find himself clothed in a drafty hospital gown and situated in a private ward. Draco surveyed his surroundings carefully. Months of training had drilled it into him to always be aware of his surroundings which was why he spotted Harry sleeping in a most uncomfortable position on the chair beside his bed. Smiling lovingly, Draco got up gingerly and made to move Harry somewhere more comfortable when he swayed on his feet and almost knocked himself unconscious if it weren't for the strong arms that suddenly came up to grab him.
Staring into sparkling emerald eyes, Draco smiled. "Still the best seeker in a century, eh Harry?"
Blushing and grinning delightedly, he carefully righted the Slytherin. "I think you're confusing that with youngest, Draco."
Raising an eyebrow at the man's predictable humility, Draco snorted. "It means the same to me. But of course you're welcome to disagree with the bloke who did kick your sorry arse last time we played."
"That was a fixed game and you know it!" Harry chuckled. "Lord! I missed this! Merlin, I can't believe you're actually alive! I wish Hermione and Ron could've seen this!" Harry replied, his voice trailing off softly and his excitement dimming.
Wincing at that, Draco struggled to keep up the upbeat attitude Harry was displaying earlier. "Yeah, me too! Look as much as I love reminiscing while my arse is hanging out of my clothes, why don't we go somewhere that requires trousers? Like say your flat or something?"
Harry looked at him worriedly. "Oh I don't know if you can leave yet, Draco. I'm not completely sure you're okay. After all, didn't you almost faint?"
Scoffing, Draco retorted. "I'll have you know, Harry, that Malfoys don't faint. It's simply too crass. Now, I have been locked up for over a year, been presumed and abandoned for dead, and have not eaten a decent meal since then. Can you really deny me anything, right now?"
Harry threw his head back and laughed. Gods how he missed this! "Only you would blackmail your savior after he rescues you from the big bad titled floor."
"But, of course." Draco grinned wickedly, thoroughly enjoying himself and basking in the glow of being the center of Harry's undivided attention. "Slytherin, remember?"
Harry chuckled at that. Merlin, it felt good to laugh. He couldn't remember the last time he'd done it. He once again thanked the deities that brought Draco back into his life. It was really a miracle and he didn't know what he'd done to deserve such a second chance. "Ok then, let's blow this popsicle stand!" He pumped his fist up in the air and made for the door.
"EH? Potter? What about those trousers?" Draco called out to him, thoroughly amused by Harry who was marching on out the door.
They ended up having lunch at a nice restaurant beside St. Mungo's. They were both famished and their stomachs didn't allow them to go very far. They ate their food as soon as it arrived and it was there in that silence that Draco finally broached the subject.
"We need to leave, Harry." Draco said softly.
"What now?" Harry looked up in confusion, "But I haven't finished my meal yet!"
"No, not now! I mean later. We need to leave before they find us." Draco whispered urgently. "They won't rest until they have you. Until they have us both. You can't deny how bad it is now, Harry."
It was true. The war was looming ever closer, now that Voldemort was winning. People were abandoning the side of Light left and right. The Death Eaters were growing bolder by the day, actually attacking during the day instead of waiting until sun down. Everything was slowly descending into chaos.
"Come away with me. We'll leave everything behind! There's nothing left for us here, Harry! Everyone else is gone." Draco said softly.
"Oh Draco, I don't know. I can't just abandon everyone to Voldemort! I can't let him win!" Harry explained firmly.
"How will you stop him, Harry? How will you even get to him with the army he's amassing? His followers will kill you before you even get within a hundred paces of him. There's nothing else you can do. Hermione and Ron would've wanted you to go. I bet so would Remus, Tonks, hell even Moody too!" Draco stated calmly.
"Really?" Harry asked, his resolve wavering under the assault of such logic. "You really think they would've wanted me to leave?"
Not batting an eyelash, Draco nodded. "Definitely. They wouldn't want you to die, Harry and if we stay that's the only thing that's going to happen. We need to leave in order to survive! Look at it as retreating to fight another day." He smiled indulgently.
Harry sighed. It did make sense. He was so very tired of it all. His friends would want him to be happy for once. They would want him to live. They'd want him to be with Draco. Besides it wouldn't be completely running away. They'll be back one day. Draco had even said so. "Okay. Let's do it then!" Harry nodded.
They left shortly after, taking only what they needed and nothing that would slow them down. They went to all kinds of places and experienced new things. The whole wizarding world was in an uproar over Harry's disappearance. The last shining hope for the side of Light was finally snuffed out.
Meanwhile, Draco couldn't be any happier. Since traveling together, he and Harry had spent every waking moment with each other. Sometimes they would even end up spending the night together due to lack of rooms in whatever hotel they were in. Draco cherished those nights like a life line. It was actually during one of those times that Draco had finally worked up the courage to say those three words again.
"I love you, Harry." He whispered into the darkness, heart in his mouth and his blood pumping loudly in his ears. He was curled up on his side facing away from the Gryffindor, too scared even now to face him as he confessed his feelings once more.
And in the space of the following silence, Draco found himself drowning in sadness. Could it be that after everything he went through, all the things he'd done, it still wasn't enough?
But then thin arms wrapped around him, a whisper of a kiss placed gently on the nape of his neck and finally, oh thank Merlin, finally those words he'd needed to hear for so long were uttered desperately into his ear.
"I love only you."
Draco smiled wickedly into the darkness. Finally everything was as it should be. He didn't even hear the grating loneliness in Harry's voice. Nor feel the drops of tears falling on his skin. He didn't see that all that remained of the boy he loved was a broken, mangled shadow.
It didn't matter.
It was still perfect.
AN: See? Happy ending! grins wickedly I wrote this because I've always seen a lot of Harry goes dark and completely batshit crazy stories but hardly any of Draco. And Assassin! Draco always turns me to a puddle of goo! grins
The Sixth Sin according to the writings of Christian monk, Evagrius Ponticus, was Invidia or Envy. It is said to be the sixth of the seven deadly sins that lead to damnation. Envy is said to be invoked by the demon, Leviathan, and eternal punishment is in the form of sumbersion in frozen water.
-The Seven Deadly Sins by it? Hate it? Comments are love!