Disclaimer: I do not own the books, nor the people in them.
Warning: HD Slash, Fluff, occasional violence, some angst (maybe), cursing, and um...well just crazy ploys of me embarrassing either Harry, Draco, or whoever else...so yes :) ENJOY!
a/n- This story is sort of taken from a story that most of you will figure out by the title, Beauty and the Beast.
Chapter One: A Rose to Thee
Draco Malfoy paced back and forth in his room. It seemed all that the seventeen year old male could do, his mind far too focused upon what the outcome might be if the plans should have failed.
They can't fail; he told himself repeatedly, it is not possible for a plan such as this to fail. Its complexity was determined at each step they would step, each measure that would be taken. Years had been taken from him as he set up the trap which would lead to the final battle. It was only to wait that lay in store for the youngest Malfoy, well, that and pacing. So, pace he did.
Time dragged on like it didn't plan on going ahead. Every chime that rung from his clock, Draco ran to his door, looked out into the hallway, then when it was obvious there was no change he would resume pacing.
After about three times of doing so, the young Malfoy grew a bit weary and decided to have a bit of a sit down. The sit down however seemed to be the push that time needed in order to move forward for in that instance, the door was opened. Draco looked up to see his father standing in the doorway, much like he hadn't seen before.
His blonde, almost white, hair was no longer tied back as it had been when he left. It was stuck to his face and neck with sweat and dirt. His clothes were in tatters and his face was bruised. Draco looked at him warily, though he felt he knew what the result had been. His father cleared his throat though he was silent after that. He walked further into the room, and that was all Draco needed to know it had failed, for defeat was in his father's eyes.
"He's dead then?" Draco whispered, speaking for the first time he had most of the day. Lucius nodded.
"Potter killed him," he said. However it held no venom or bite as it normally did. Instead it had nothing but sorrow and fear, which was a fright for Draco to see in his father. Lucius continued. "Grab only what you need, we must leave this place before they catch us. If we hurry we will be out of England by the time the sun comes up."
Draco said nothing to argue this, for he knew that his father was right. They must escape. They were now the enemy and he was sure that only a few of them were able to run away before capture. He set to work, grabbing the lightest clothes that he could carry and shoved them in a bag, fearing to use his wand in the event that they had tabs on it.
He went searching around for no more than a few more minute before his father came back into the room. They readied themselves for departure and were at the door and about to walk out when they were stopped.
There was a strange woman on their front porch. Draco couldn't see her well in the darkness of the night, with not even a candle so they wouldn't draw attention to themselves. However, from her shadow he could see that she was at least two feet shorter than him, and her back hunched terribly. He didn't know how he could tell she was a woman, but it was obvious that he wasn't the only one with this knowledge as Lucius stepped forwards.
"Move woman," Draco heard his father say, feeling him tense before him.
"Please, just have this…it will help you in your escape," the woman said, holding out something that he could not see at first glance. Draco reached out his hand to grab it so she would leave and they could go, but Lucius whacked it out of the woman's hand with the palm of his own hand.
"We don't have time to worry about a peaceful journey," he spat, "our only concern is to get out of here, not to be burdened by your folly treasures. Come boy," he said, turning his attention back to Draco who had been bending over to pick up the item but stopped when he heard him being ordered. "We must leave."
Lucius walked down a flight of stairs but before he could reach the second set, a burst of light burst from the side of where Draco was and hit his father square in the back. The light went as fast as it had come and all Draco could hear was the lifeless plop of his father's now lifeless body hitting the ground. The silence that came after was overbearing as shock flowed through Draco.
He did not quite know what he was doing but the next thing he did know was that he was turning to face where the woman was. She was standing tall, now only about a half foot smaller than he. Her lean frame was in an attacking position, and he looked down her arm to see her wand still lit from the spell that had been cast. It was hard to keep an eye on though for it shook terribly.
"I did it," the woman whispered, but Draco was shocked to find her voice was much younger than she had let on from before. Her voice was shaky yet slightly familiar to Draco's ears. "I can't believe I…I actually did it," the girl said, disbelief was quite obvious to her.
The young Malfoy's shock had lost its bite and he was slowly turning from his shock to anger. He fumed silently as she praised herself slowly, her own shock beginning to dwindle. He silently hissed "Yes, be proud you struck a man when his back was turned." However, this did not seem like a good idea.
The girl turned quickly and screamed a curse he'd never heard of before. He was hit upon the right cheek and felt himself stumble back and fall rather ungracefully down on his ass. Pain racked his entire body, but primarily where he'd been hit. His eyes felt as if something we going to make them pop out and it felt like his skin was puffing out to extraordinary proportions. Draco wasn't conscious to his own screaming as only the pain consumed his every thought. At a last twist of pain, he felt his skin rip on his face, mainly over his right eye and right cheek, but it was practically numb. He did feel other tears through his body as he lay there, as if he were slowly being cooled down when lit aflame.
All the young Malfoy could do was breathe, and even that was painful. He felt himself become colder as blood left his body. However, this only lasted a quick moment as he felt the pain again. However now there was a light that was in his face, when his eyes adjusted, though he could only see out of one, he saw that the wounds were healing, and there were, indeed, wounds. He could see the blood of the wounds that had seeped through when they were fresh. When the pain had subsided and only an aching soreness lingered, he realized that the woman was the one holding the light. He looked up to see her face and was not surprised when he received a gasp from the other.
He was finally able to see who it was that had attacked him and his father. Red hair, shockingly red hair, littered her face in a messy array though most of it was kept high above her head in a pony tail. Her face was dotted in small freckles all over and they crept over her cute button nose. Ginny was indeed a Weasley in all ways wasn't she?
"Draco?" she whispered, in disbelief. Why she was in such a state he wouldn't know and would never know but that didn't bother him at the time.
"Who did you think it was, the Minster?" he replied, though it didn't come out quite as he'd liked. Instead of actually saying those words it sounded a bit more like "Whoya thinkit waws, teh Minsteh?" which was not quite the same thing as you could imagine. It also hurt Draco to speak in so many words, not only his throat which had been roughened by whatever had happened to him, but also his lips hurt terribly.
She obviously didn't understand him, but somehow it seemed she could tell the remark was a Dracoesque snide comment. She straightened up and looked him dead in the eye "I normally would be sorry for hitting one who was innocent, but seeing as you are quite the opposite, I will go." She got up but Draco grabbed her arm and pulled her down. It was then that he saw his hand.
It was hardly his hand at all. What once had been delicate, soft, and pale, was now rough, large, and gashed to an extent you couldn't tell what color his skin was. He pulled it away quickly. "What did you curse me with?" he asked, this time forcing every word to sound as clear as possible. It was slurred a slight bit and was definitely more hoarse but was otherwise understandable, though he had to stay quiet in order to regain some of his voice back which was fortunate since the little Weasel wanted to talk.
"Impermissusadamo," she began though obviously with a bite of annoyance. Then she smiled, however it did not sit with Draco well how she smiled, for it was much like a lioness that had cornered her unfortunate meal. "Do you know what it is, Malfoy?" she asked in a superior tone.
Oh how he wished he could just say "yes I do" or something to show she wasn't so smart. However, it turned out that he really didn't know what it was, which meant it was obviously very old or it was brand-spankin'-new. To hold his dignity at least a little, he just shook his head.
He thought she would be snide about this but he looked up at her again and this time he saw a look he'd never seen, more so been the target of, around him. It seemed like sympathy, in fact, even never experiencing it he knew for a fact that she pitied him. The Weasley twit must have seen his eyes harden in disgust at being pitied so she moved her lit wand to follow her, leaving him in the darkness only to look at her, whose face was still illuminated. Even he had to admit that she was sort of pretty, in a poor and dirty sort of way. She continued speaking.
"Impermissusadamo," she began again, "Is a strong curse that we found in Dumbledore's Wizarding Journals after he died." Draco mused at how right he was that it was brand new but remained quiet. "What it does is if the one who is targeted by it is not in any way, shape, or form loved by a human being who is living, or they are contemptuous or hateful of the world, you turn into your hearts eye, and the image it incorporates for you." Draco didn't quite understand it and shifted a bit, though it quite hurt, to sit up and try to think. Perhaps sensing his uneasiness, she continued on "The ugliness of your heart, or more correctly your soul, is now skin deep for the world to see." Glad at the simplified form the youngest Malfoy sat there, rolling this around in his head.
"How'zit comeuf?" he said, his lips still not fully healed from the workout he gave them from before to be able to say "How does it come off."
"I don't know if I should tell you," she said in a sigh, but before Draco could suffer to jump her and kill her, she shrugged "but I will none the less. Maybe it'd be better anyway." She took a deep breath and I knew that she was trying to make it more dramatic, though it was already dramatic enough for him.
"Your soul mate has to say they love you and mean it," she said after a deep pause. Draco could not believe it. It was a fucking pansy curse! Of course, what else could he expect, it was that crazy, no good bastard, Dumbledore's doing! Ahh!
He wanted to scream. However, he remained cool and calm and replied, still slurring quite a bit. "Is there another way?"
Ginny looked at him thoughtfully, as far as he could tell it was thoughtful anyway, and then looked ahead at the light as if thinking. "The other way," she began, "Is that you do something big enough to make you pure again, but the thing is you must do more than one for all this will do is making your scars, solitarily, begin to heal. However, being that your heart must have been so…" she did honor me the scrap of dignity as to not say how bad off my soul was, "that your scars are practically endless. Besides you do not have that time."
Draco's breath hitched. "Time?" he asked, almost afraid of the answer. The smallest Weasel nodded. "Yes," she got up and went towards the door where they had been before and came back to Draco. She knelt down next to him, though she shined the light of her Lumos-ed wand towards an object.
If Draco was the kind of person to say things were beautiful, or almost mystically so, he would have. If he were the kind of man to think such a thing could be so awing he would have thought it. But sadly, as it was shown, his heart saw so little beauty all he could say is "a flower?"
"Yes, a flower," Ginny replied, and by her tone he could tell she was smirking. That was horrible, that's his job. "It's called the Ross Rose. It's charmed naturally from the man that created them. What they do is they sparkle and bloom when the one who got the curse but over the years, the petals fall solitarily if the one who is under the curse does not succeed in removing it. If the last one falls…you'll die, Malfoy," she said, perhaps slightly more cold then need be but then again maybe not.
Draco got up and walked away from her, though he found the only way he could walk was a limp. "What are you doing Malfoy?" he heard the redhead say behind him. He barely acknowledged it. He opened the door and walked inside his home. Draco could hear the extra patter of feet behind him that signaled the woman had followed. "What are you doing?" she asked again.
Draco turned his head then looked forwards once again and resumed limping. Draco walked a little while then he turned towards the first bathroom with a mirror. He reached for the lights but felt a gentle hand rest upon his own.
"Malfoy, don't look, it will only hurt more," she begged, though she took her hand immediately off his at the touch of his dead skin. Draco shook her hand off his own then turned on the light and was shocked by the sight that met him. In fact, he was so shocked that he could only stare at it as his eyes welled in tears of defeat.
The light was gently turned off. "I'm sorry…not even you deserve this fate," she said but was interrupted by him pushing her away from him.
"I don't want your fuckin' pity Weasley!" he cried, though it sounded more like a roar. Tears flowed freely from his gnarled face. His body shook as he began to sob. It was not only the fact that he was thoroughly ugly but it was that he would have to live the rest of his life like this.
"How long do I have?" he asked quietly.
"Well if you find your true love…" she said, beginning to gain her voice that had been yelled out of her by Draco just before. However, her head was bitten off once again, though perhaps a bit subtler.
"I mean if I do not find this 'true love," he said, making himself a bit clearer. She cleared her throat and looked at the rose that was still in her hand. "If the rose is to remain intact and untouched, its natural death process is that of five years."
Draco guessed that it could have been worse. He could have had five days for all that his luck was worth. However, five years was still a very limited amount of time. The young Malfoy snapped out of his daze when he felt a trembling hand on his shoulder.
"You may find your true love, Draco," she said, not sympathetic but truthful and pure. It was far to sickening of Draco to think about it. "Don't give up," she added and that was enough for the blonde to end the meeting.
"Get out," he said, however it was perhaps the most polite he could have said such a boss-like command to someone. She didn't even seem to grasp the words until a few seconds later. Draco got up and the redhead followed curiously.
When they reached the door she turned around. "I'm coming to visit," she said. Draco looked shocked.
"Why?" he asked.
"It's the least I can do. I've got to make sure you're safe anyway, being that I'm going to tell people you're dead so that you can't get caught. I…I shouldn't have put this curse on you, so I'm going to repent the best I can, which would be to benefit you," she said, but it was all so fast and Draco was so tired he didn't quite understand.
Before she left she added "You'll find them," confidently. As she went down the steps, she swore she heard the soft words of the mangled man who had once been so beautiful that said "but who could ever love…" and by the time the door click, the wind seemed to carry the whisper, riding on the silent air.
A/N:I am not done with this story, but I will be...well hopefully soon. However, I do have a decent chunk done for those who want to read it. However, I will not know if people like my story or not unless they review. So please do review, I beg of you...woah I rhymed :)