Disclaimer: I don't own anything by JKR. If I did, I would write myself into the story and get myself a nice little wizard of my own.
Note: Here is the end of this story. I hope you've enjoyed it. First off, I'm going to dedicate this story to my sister, Shelby. She's my best reviewer-even when she gets critical. Next, I'd like to thank my fabulous reviewers for giving me so many kind notes and ideas. This chapter wouldn't even be this at all if it hadn't been the suggestion of one tremendously smart reviewer. Props!
Wow, this is starting to sound like an Academy Awards speech…..I'll stop now.
Please review and let me know what you think of this last chapter and the story has a whole. Thanks again, and happy reading!
Draco Malfoy eased silently into the Room of Requirement after having positioned Crabbe and Goyle in their places. "Now don't move," he had had to say firmly. Last week, Crabbe had just wandered off from his post for no good reason. When Draco had asked him about it, Crabbe had just said he was "lookin' at something." Rather than trying to impress on the dolt for the thousandth time how important their mission was, Draco had used a simple sticking charm to fix Crabbe in his spot. That should stump him, with any luck.
Now, he sighed as he looked once again at the vanishing cabinet. He was starting to get frustrated-why wouldn't it work? He had read the instructions and done all the background work, spending hours in that horrible, dusty library. Why couldn't he get it right? If Draco failed at this, the Dark Lord would torture him or would kill his parents…. he'd already botched his mission twice, he daren't again. The consequences of failure were too severe to even think about.
Draco leaned his head against the wall. How did he get himself mixed up in this mess? Every once in a while he would stop his frenzied thoughts enough to evaluate things, but normally he preferred not to. Evaluating things meant seeing how much he had screwed up his life.
Everything had seemed so simple a year ago, even a few months ago. His father had been thrown into Azkaban, and the Dark Lord had offered him a way to get back at those who had hurt his family. What could go wrong with that?
He hadn't counted on being told to kill Dumbledore, a wizard so great that even the Dark Lord feared to cross him. He'd been given an impossible task. He was doomed to fail, and his family would be squashed as callously as a person squashed a maggot.
Tossing aside one of his tools in frustration, Draco walked over to the window and leaned his head against the cool glass. He felt trapped in his own body and in the school that he used to love, despite all of his whining. He had loved Hogwarts, loved the Slytherin common room, the Great Hall, the secret passages ways, and all the power that the castle had held. But now….there was no escape.
Looking blearily out onto the grounds, Draco first cast his gaze toward the Quidditch pitch. He hated staying in this same room all the time, when he wanted to be on his broomstick whizzing through the cool air. Even walking around the lake would be a relief. The calm silvery water and the waving green trees would be undoubtedly better to look at rather than the constant dull gray of the cabinet.
As he was gazing longingly towards the lake, Draco saw two people walking around it. Lucky blokes… he thought. Just walking around, no worries, no fears, no Dark Lord breathing down their necks…Then, with a sudden drop of his heart, he realized that the two people were Harry Potter and the blood traitor, Ginny Weasley.
Draco's heart reached new depths of confliction and pain. Just when he thought he couldn't experience any more, something like this popped up.
On one side of him, Draco felt deep, wild rage. How dare they, the blood traitors and betrayers, be so happy and so at peace with one another while he was locked in this same damn room? Potter looked happier than Draco had ever seen him; he could see Harry's sparkling green eyes even from his lofty height. Who was he, to have such joy?
But on the other side of Draco, he felt things that he hadn't felt in a very long time-jealously and longing. How could someone that had so little-no home, no parents, and no future (if the Dark Lord had his way) suddenly have something that Draco wanted so badly? For the first time ever, Draco truly understood what was important. Yes, Potter had fame and fortune, but in another ways he was poorer than Draco had ever seen. He had grown up without love and friendship. Draco had grown up knowing that his parents loved them in their own ways. He had never been afraid of death or of poverty.
But in another way, he was most definitely poorer than Harry. In spite of all his trials and tribulations, Potter had won through. He had the respect of nearly everyone inside Hogwarts. Many adults that Draco knew to be highly competent wizards and witches respected Harry and tried to protect him: Dumbledore, Lupin, Moody, McGonagall…the list went on and on. But funnily enough, not many people seemed to care about Draco. Only his mother and Snape seemed to care whether he succeeded, and Draco suspected that Snape only cared because Draco's mother had made him take the Unbreakable Vow. The Dark Lord certainly didn't give a Knut about what happened, as long as Dumbledore was killed somehow.
What was worse was that if Draco succeeded in this plan, in all likelihood Potter and Weasley would die in the ensuing chaos. He would be snuffing out that bright love that lingered just below him. It made him sick.
Keep working, or he'll kill your mother and father. Don't think about what you're doing. Don't analyze it. Sick at heart and sick to his stomach, Draco turned his back on the young lovers and got back to work.
Ginny tore her eyes away from Harry and looked around. "Ever get the feeling that you're being watched?" she asked Harry.
Harry shrugged. "Let them watch." Then he lifted Ginny's head up so that he could kiss her gently on the lips.