Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all elements thereof are the property of Ms. J.K. Rowling. The following story was written solely for entertainment purposes and, as such, no profit is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
AN: It probably borders on the verge of silliness that I wrote a character death fic right before the last book comes out, but I had an image, a line of dialogue, and I needed to get both off my chest. Consider this AU, because even if I am right on the money as to who dies, the chances of it happening the same way as presented in this story are rather slim. Also, sorry if Draco sounds rather like capslock!Harry in OOTP, but his character strikes me as the type whose tantrums are anything but subtle. Suggestions and constructive criticism are welcome.
All I Want
"Mistress." The house-elf's eyes are as huge as dinner plates, imploring and terrified. "It is Master Draco, he is not eating. Mimsy tells him he has to or he will get sick, but he is not listening, he yells at Mimsy to take the tray away…"
"It is not your place to tell my son what he should and should not do, elf," I say coldly.
The trembling creature falls to the floor. "Mimsy is sorry," it squeaked. "Mimsy did not mean to--- please forgive Mimsy, Mistress---"
"Enough. Back to the kitchens."
After it has vanished with a loud crack, I turn to my husband. Lucius is sitting in his favorite armchair, deeply engrossed in today's issue of the Daily Prophet. He gives no outward indication that he has heard the exchange.
"Our son is not eating."
He lowers the paper, arching an eyebrow. "Perhaps he is not hungry, then? Narcissa, I wish you would not fret about the littlest things. The boy's spoiled enough as it is---"
"Shall I remind you," I interrupt, "of how you ran through the crowd screaming for him during the battle of Hogwarts? How tightly you held him in your arms? Do not attempt to fool me into believing you yourself do not have a soft spot for the boy. He has not had a bite in two days, Lucius."
Something flickers in the depths of his cool gray eyes. He sighs with patented resignation, puts the Prophet down, and together we exit the parlor and ascend the curving stone staircase.
Draco's door is locked. Irritated, Lucius raps sharply on its polished mahogany surface. "Draco?" No response. "Merlin's beard, child, you did not survive the War just so you could starve yourself to death, surely?" A vein begins to throb at the side of his neck. My husband is not a patient man. "Draco, answer me!"
"I'm not hungry!" a muffled voice yells from inside the room.
"Rubbish," said Lucius. "Let us in."
"No--- leave me alone!"
"Why, you little---"
"Lucius." I lay a soothing hand on his arm. With my free hand I point my wand at the keyhole and murmur, "Alohomora."
The door swings open; we step in.
Lucius swears viciously.
We are looking at a disaster zone. The king-sized bed is a mess, blankets, pillows and sheets strewn haphazardly about. A small table and an armchair have been overturned. The carpet is littered with glass--- the remains of several small but expensive figurines that previously occupied the mantelpiece. The velvet-and-lace curtains have been ripped from the windows and now lie in a sad heap on the floor. A pile of books is smoldering in the fireplace, their charred edges glowing gold.
Perhaps most shocking of all is the state of the portraits on the walls. They have been ferociously slashed, as if with a knife, bearing no trace of their former occupants.
In the midst of all this wreckage stands my son, frozen in the act of throwing a crystal dragon at what should have been a closed door. His normally impeccable blond hair is disheveled and he is still wearing the severe black robes of battle. He stares at us with wild eyes.
I rush towards him but he jumps back with a yelp. Horribly disconcerted, I stop, my hand over my wildly beating heart. "Draco?"
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THIS ROOM?" Lucius bellows, oblivious to his son's unbalanced state of mind.
"F--- father, I---"
"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH ALL THIS COST? And--- good grief--- your grandfather's portrait--- how could--- WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?"
"That will be quite enough, Lucius," I say loudly.
He falls silent, breathing heavily, possibly still too overcome with shock to continue his diatribe. I concentrate on my son, trembling slightly.
"Draco." His head jerks at the sound of his name. "Why aren't you eating?"
"Not--- not hungry," he mutters.
I inch closer and feel a pang. His cheeks are hollow, his complexion sickly and his eyes rimmed by dark circles underneath. What has happened to my boy to reduce him to this gaunt shadow of his former self? He had seemed fine after---
No, I suddenly realize. He had been deathly quiet from the time we left Hogwarts, after the final battle, and he had stormed up to his room the moment we got to the Manor. Lucius and I had been so busy for the past two days, submitting to interrogation, contacting friends and relatives, helping wrap up loose ends in Wiltshire, that we had not thought to check on him.
"Do you… want to talk about it?" I ask weakly.
"I don't want to bloody talk about it!" he yells, and immediately I stretch out my hand to my side in a restraining gesture before Lucius can berate him for talking to his mother like that. "I don't want to bloody do anything! I just want to stay here, I want to die---"
The crystal dragon slides from his grip, shattering into a thousand pieces. My horrified gaze is dragged to his bare feet, cut by the myriad amounts of broken glass and oozing blood.
"Oh, Draco, I'm sure whatever it is we can---"
"NO! YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING!" His shouts have reached a frenzied fever pitch. "You can't do anything, Mother, you can't fix this! No one can! It's too late--- I--- she--- she---" He stops, shoulders shaking.
I glance back helplessly at Lucius, whose brows are knit in consternation.
"Draco," he says slowly, finally, "if by 'she' you are referring to Pansy Parkinson, she has been released from St. Mungo's. She is all ri---"
"Pansy Parkinson?" Draco stares at his father in abject shock. "You think I give a rat's arse about that cow?"
"Then who are you talking about?" Lucius, who rather fancies the idea of Draco marrying the Parkinson girl, asks snappishly.
Draco snickers. "No, of course you don't know. Merlin, you probably wouldn't even--- approve---" The look on his pale face is almost maniacal. "It's just not done, is it? Me going to pieces for--- for her--- I never knew--- all these years and I never realized until--- damn it, how was I supposed to know?"
"Draco, please," I implore him, "lie down. We'll take care of the cuts on your feet, and the elves can bring you tea and biscuits, and when you're feeling better we can go to Diagon Alley to buy that new broom you wanted---"
"ALL I WANT IS HER!" he screams in anguish. "BRING HER BACK--- I WANT HER BACK---"
"Sweetheart, I---" My voice breaks on a half-sob. I can't bear to watch my son like this and be unable to comfort him. "I--- really have no idea who you're talking about, if you could just---"
"Why didn't he protect her?" An untouched vase on the mantelpiece explodes from the sheer force of Draco's emotions. "If he's such a bigshot, why couldn't he save her? HE KILLED YOU-KNOW-WHO, DIDN'T HE?" The chandelier is swaying dangerously from side to side, even though there is no wind. "WHY COULDN'T HE--- FUCKING--- SAVE--- HER? SHE WAS HIS FRIEND!"
Automatically I open my mouth to scold him for using that vulgar word, but I snap it shut once realization--- and a memory--- set in.
We were in the Great Hall with the rest of the survivors. Draco perched on the edge of the Slytherin House table while I ran my wand over the various scratches and bruises on his face and body, murmuring healing spells.
"If it isn't the conquering hero," he drawled, and I looked around to see Harry Potter and that Weasley boy passing by us. They stopped in their tracks. "Where's Granger run off to? She never could stay away from the library too long---"
Instead of replying, they stared at him with dull, haunted, bloodshot eyes that had seen too much, wept too much. I actually froze as comprehension dawned, my hand fluttering to a standstill over Draco's chest, temporarily halted in its search for injuries.
I felt it then--- underneath my fingertips, my son's heart, for a long drawn-out moment, actually stopped beating.
"Draco," I whisper, "you're talking about… the Granger girl, aren't you?"
It's as if hearing her name is the catalyst. He lets out a strangled wail that wrenches at my heart and crumples to the floor, heaving huge, gasping, ragged sobs, the pent-up tears finally streaming down his cheeks.
"I didn't know, I didn't know," he rasps, over and over again. "Stupid little know-it-all didn't even stick around long enough for me to realize it--- five bloody years with her and I never knew how much I---"
I embrace him. At seventeen, he is a man, taller than I am when we are standing, but he feels so small and frail in my arms. I wish I could turn back time for him, take away all his pain, change the world so that he would never be unhappy, never have to break like this…
But there is only so much a mother can do.
"How could she die?" he asks hoarsely. "How could she die? I love her."
For a while there is nothing but the sound of Draco's weeping as I stare into the fireplace, until at last I hear footsteps padding across the carpet, crunching the broken glass and then stopping, and I look up and see Lucius bending slightly over us, his hand resting on his son's shoulder.