Okey-dokey! I know I said that this would be posted tomorrow, but I just couldn't wait...Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Harry Potter or Naruto related…except my interpretations of those great things. CHYEAH!
I should mention this chapter is in Draco Malfoy's point of view. I am going to write this in shifting points of view, cuz no one complained about it.Chapter 1 - Obliviation!
I can't say it wasn't a relief to get out of school.
At the same time, I can't say it was.
While school wasn't ever 'fun'—what school is?—I didn't want to go home to my empty house. Now that I was 'free', my parents would expect at least a monthly visit from me in Azkaban. I didn't want to see my parents. I'd been told that Harry and my Mom had saved me, but if my parents hadn't been involved with You-Know-Who, then I wouldn't have needed saving. Ergo, she was not forgiven--at least not in my book.
My parents have incredible brainwashing skills. This is a simple statement of fact. I was raised to hate all things that they hated—a long list. From Harry Potter, to Dumbledore, to the Weasleys, all the way down to cream puffs. Yes, I was taught to hate them all. At the beginning of my first go through of seventh year, I was beginning to realize that they were being ridiculous. But working with You-Know-Who, I understood their reasoning. Fear.
Finally, I had been able to shake their teachings, sometime this year. I'm not quite sure of the time, but I know I didn't do it alone. What I don't know is who helped me. Sometimes, I'll try to remember, but I never can. It makes me sad, sometimes, because I can vaguely remember feeling very close to this person, like we belonged together.
But I can't remember. I get flickers of happiness in my past, but I don't know why I'm happy. I don't know who I'm with. It's almost like I'm alone, but…I know I'm with her. Who is she? I don't know…well, more accurately, I don't remember.
Sitting on the train, I get an idea.
What if…someone didn't want me to remember? What if they were willing to do anything to make me forget?
It was reasonable enough.
The question was why. And of course, how. The second question was simple enough to answer—obliviation. Not hard to do, perfectly legal. The perfect plan.
The first question was harder. Jealousy? Revenge?
Then…Who would do that?
I didn't know. A part of me didn't want to, but I pushed that part down.
I had to know. Otherwise, I would just remain in the broken state I was in.
That was a good word for me. Broken. I didn't belong with my parents; I didn't belong with the 'good' wizards. I didn't want to belong. I wanted to float through life alone. I was broken because I was alone. I was broken because she, whoever she was, was gone. I was broken because I didn't believe that my parents loved me. I was broken because my best friends, even if I never treated them like it, were dead.
I got off the train, taking my bags, and walked through the barrier after Meg and Patricia. They were talking about something, but I wasn't listening until I overheard the word obliviation.
"Excuse me," I said. "Did you just say...obliviation?"
Patricia looked slightly miffed by my interruption, but Meg, who looked almost cheerful for the first time in months, answered. "Yep, she sure did."
"That's weird," I remarked off-handedly.
Patricia's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean, that's weird?"
"Well, I was just thinking about it. And how…maybe…I was obliviated." I watched for their reaction. To my surprise, Meg smiled.
"That's three," she said softly.
"Three what?" I asked.
"Me, you, and Patricia. We all think we've been obliviated. Weird, eh?" She was smiling, still, perhaps because this was proof that we weren't all crazy.
"Very," I agreed. "Soooo…What are we going to do about it?"
Meg seemed pleased that I had asked. "Why, we're going to cure it of course!" She said it as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Come to think of it, it was. "You wanna help?"
I returned her smile. "Sure." I made it two syllables.
Patricia still looked skeptical, but she said, "Well…I've got to get going. My parents will be waiting…" She started to say more, but Meg interrupted her.
"Where are they, anyway? Shouldn't they have at least come to pick you up?"
Patricia's eyes narrowed. She sidestepped the question. "Where do you all want to meet? And work, too, I guess."
Meg frowned, but let it go. It wasn't her place to pry. "Well…I would volunteer my place, but…I'm technically only there until I can move out."
Patricia nodded. "Sorry, but we can't work at my house. There's…an issue."
Meg raised her eyebrows again, but remained silent. They both turned to me. I shrugged. "If you don't mind working at an ex-Death Eater's house," –the word was so wrong for where I lived—"It's fine with me."
Patricia's eyes softened. "As long as you aren't anymore, it doesn't matter. We'll be there."
I shook my head. "Unfortunately, it's a bit more complicated than that. I'll have to take you there. You won't be able to find it, otherwise. We'll need to meet somewhere."
"Hogsmeade?" Meg questioned.
"Nah." Patricia frowned. "I just got away from that area—please DON'T make me go back."
"Okay then," I said. "What about Diagon Ally?"
Patricia seemed to like that better. "Okay. Where?"
"The Leaky Cauldron?" It was the first thing that came to mind.
"Fine with me," Patricia agreed.
Meg just nodded. The smile was gone now, replaced with the look that was so often on her face. Misery. Pure, unadultured misery. It mirrored some of my own feelings, though for me, it wasn't quite so constant.
A new feeling raced through me—pity. It was a new feeling, and one I would never show, because no one likes to be pitied. Simple fact of life.
I wondered about Patricia. What was her secret? She hid it well, whatever it was. The only clue was how defensive she'd been about her parents.
Meg sighed. "I have to figure out a way to tell Mrs. Weasley I won't be staying with them this summer."
I shrugged. "Can't help you there."
She nodded. "I know."
"See you all at The Leaky Cauldron." Patricia was exiting the train station, practically flying out of the door.
Meg and I exchanged a look. "What's got her so flustered?" I muttered.
She shrugged. "I better get going, too. See you in a few."
I thought of something, suddenly. "When are we meeting? We didn't decide."
Patricia sighed. We both jumped and turned to face her. "Didn't you just—" Meg gasped.
"Leave?" I finished for her.
She sighed and muttered something about not paying attention. "I just came back in. We need to meet at five o'clock, SHARP. Okay?"
We nodded mutely. She gave us a toothy smile. "Buh-bye." And then she was gone again.
We stared after her, and then exchanged another look. "Wow," I said finally.
Meg nodded. "See you then." She left, too.
I followed after them. As I exited the door, a conductor yelled out "MIND THE GAP!" I marveled at how loud a muggle could be without any spell to make their voice louder.
I crossed the parking lot and cut into an alley. It was empty. Perfect for my purposes. Although I didn't really want to go through security, I needed to tell my house elves that people were staying for the summer.
I pushed the thoughts away, focusing. I needed to apparate, and I didn't want to end without eyebrows, like…who did I know that didn't have eyebrows? I couldn't remember. Maybe this was part of the memory loss. Hmmmm…
Focus, Draco, focus. I told myself firmly. I really didn't want to leave anything behind. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply.
The apparation process began. Apparating is a weird feeling…I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who's claustrophobic, because it feels like you're being crushed into this tight tube, and then getting pushed out like spaghetti.
Completion. A quick once-over to make sure I was completely not splinted. We have success!
I walked towards the gates for my house, and a wizard popped into existence. I ducked as a stunning spell shot over my head. "It's me…Draco Malfoy. The guy who lives here…"
"Why aren't you in school?" The wizard questioned.
"It ended today." I rolled my eyes in frustration. Ever since my parents had been taken to Azkaban, the ministry had taken it upon themselves to guard my house. Joyful. What this meant was every time someone comes to my house—including me—they have to go through the Spanish Inquisition. I'm not sure if the ministry was as concerned about me being 'under attack' as they were concerned about me not getting into dark magic.
His eyes narrowed. Special question time. "What is your favorite candy bar?"
I blinked. "I don't have one."
He nodded, satisfied, and let me enter. I paused and turned back to him. "I'm going to have two people staying with me for the summer. I'm going to get them around five, okay?"
"Who are they?"
"Meg Ryder and Patricia Edwards," I responded with ease. As if they would have any dark history.
"You better hope I don't find anything about them that compromise your promise to the ministry," he threatened.
"You won't." What is wrong with these people? I rolled my eyes and continued up to my house. I didn't really need to get anything, but it was important to tell the security and house elves about the visitors.
"Manny?" A house elf appeared with a crack.
"Yes, master?" Manny said with a bow.
"We're going to have some visitors. Could you prepare two rooms, please?" I added the please as an afterthought. Granger had been right when she said that house elves reacted better when you were polite to them.
"Of course. May I ask who they'll be?"
"Two girls from school. We're going to work on something."
Manny nodded, and disappeared. The crack was heard again, echoing in the empty house. Empty like the owner. Empty like me… Empty like Meg. Maybe Patricia. She was so good at masking what she felt.
I sighed. Melancholy colored my soul…
At last it was five o'clock. At last I could distract myself… I walked out of my house, down the walk, out the gates. The ministry guy popped into existence, again, and I waved cheerfully at him.
"I'll just be going now. We'll be back soon. That is…if they're okay."
He scrutinized me. "You don't know anything about them, really, do you?"
I blinked. "No, not really."
"Nothing about, Patricia, in particular?" He was trying to get at something, I could see.
"No. Nothing that she doesn't want me to know. Which means I know her name."
The man nodded, accepting this. "Very well." He looked ill at ease. "If you insist, continue…"
I smiled humorlessly. "I DO insist." Focusing now, I apparated.
I appeared just inside the Leaky Cauldron. After all, there was no reason to freak the muggles out by just randomly popping in and out of existence.
I glanced at the large clock on the wall. 4:59 p.m.
"Hmmm…Early." I jumped. Patricia was standing right next to me, also looking at the clock. "What?" There was a smile on her face, concealed by 'honest' confusion. A smile that said, 'yeah, I know I shocked you.' The clock chimed five times. "And Meg is late."
A few seconds later, Meg appeared. Her eyes were dull. She had a messenger bag slung across her shoulders. Here hair, still long and black, loosely hung around her face, covering quite a bit of it. She didn't want to be seen, simple as that.
"You're late." Patricia's voice was calm, crisp.
She stared at her blankly, and turned to look at the clock. "By thirty seconds."
"Yes." Patricia was apparently still condemning her. I hid a smile, and saw that Meg was also faintly amused.
She spoke, pretending to be annoyed. "So sue me."
Patricia wrinkled her nose. "As if. Stupid muggles…" She turned to look at me, now. "Lead us on, dearest Draco."
I raised an eyebrow. "Okaaay…" I extended an arm to them. They both stared at it blankly. "I don't want to splint you…" I hinted. "You kind of have to know where you're going to apparate. I know, so, we're going to have to side-along apparate. We're also going to have to go through security."
They continued to stare in basic confusion, but took my arm.
I focused. Apparation time, yet again. This stuff was just a big headache.
The tube seemed to me extra long this time, though that could have just been frustration. Or perhaps because I was taking people with me. I'd never actually attempted side-along apparating. Needless to say, when we all arrived in one piece, I was relieved.
"Halt!" The guard from the ministry—who else?
Security question time! It's almost like an American children's show. And now it's time for…and all that crud.
"Names of your parents, please."
Meg cocked an eyebrow at me. "I'll explain later," I muttered. "This would be the security I was talking about." To the guard, I said, "Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy."
Patricia spoke next. "Stephen and Elizabeth Edwards." She still looked skeptical. It seemed to be the constant face she wore, like unto Meg's misery, and my confident smirk. Beneath it all, we were all pretty much miserable… Meg was just the best at showing her true feelings…or maybe we were just better at hiding ours.
Meg paused before speaking, looking like she was fighting herself. "Tom Ryder is my adoptive father. My mother is Mary Ryder." Meg's voice was soft, sad. "They're both deceased." She tagged that on at the end.
No one spoke briefly; even the security guard was rendered speechless. Whether Meg intended it or not, her sadness made her appear broken and small. It disarmed people.
Then there were the times where she was normal, almost. She'd make a sarcastic remark, and shoot an annoyed look at you. A look that said, 'Gee, how'd you miss that one?'
I brushed that aside. "Are we done, here?"
The guard nodded, and we passed through the gates.
"Welcome to Malfoy Manor," I said gravely.
The ominous house stared back at us. A feeling of gloom settled in. I'm pretty sure the house was designed to be like this.
"Homey," Meg quipped, breaking the mood.
For a second, Patricia and I stared at her. Then we burst out laughing. "Girl, you are crazy," Patricia informed her.
With renewed cheer, we walked up the path. Well, not quite cheer, but it was a feeling of accomplishment. Like we were finally doing something worth doing.
After we entered, darling Manny appeared in front of us. "May I show the Master's guests to their rooms?"
Meg stared at me, agape.
Patricia looked rather disgusted.
I smiled cheerfully. "That'd be lovely, Manny. Would you, please?"
"The Master must only ask," Manny said with a smile. He turned. "This way, if you please."
We followed dutifully. Manny loved playing host, I saw. He took great pleasure in pointing out rooms and other things of interest. This was probably because he was a new elf, one that hadn't hosted the Dark Lord, and so he didn't get bad memories.
We at last arrived at their rooms. I was surprised to see that they were actually very nice. The windows were open, which in turn made the room seem more open. They seemed friendly, actually. A bright spot in this dark house.
After they had put their things in their rooms—I discovered that Meg had spelled her messenger bag to carry much more than should have been possible…including a small cauldron. I wondered why she'd brought that…Would we need that? We discovered that we were all pretty hungry.
Manny took us to the dining room where dinner was waiting. It was way too much food for three people, but that just meant leftovers for lunch tomorrow. My parents were disgusted with the thought of leftovers, but I considered it a waste to just throw all that food away. A simple refrigeration charm, and voila! Everything works out.
"So…" Patricia broke the silence. "What's the plan?"
I raised an eyebrow. "I was under the impression that you were the genius, here."
Meg waited patiently, brown eyes watching us.
Patricia sighed. "Well there's the obvious answer. First we'll have to research."
I nodded. "We have a library… It even has a dark magic wing, if you're interested."
"The ministry let you keep the dark magic books? Why?" Meg asked.
I smiled ruefully. "My parents managed to convince them that we wouldn't use them for anything, just keep them for old time's sake. Like it was for purely nostalgic reasons. I'm not sure why they believed that."
Patricia seemed impressed. "That's…good, I guess. You never know what you might find in the dark magic section. Spells and potions are always alterable. But anyway, the question is, what are we researching?"
"Well," I said, "We could try and make a potion…"
Meg grinned, and joked, "You Slytherins. Always looking to potions as the answer."
I laughed. "I did excel there."
Meg laughed. "Nah, I bet Snape passed you because you were in his house."
I frowned. "No, I passed last year, too. Though it seems the first month was easier. Hmmm…Slughorn taught, right? It seems like he wasn't there the first month. Only, I can't remember who taught."
Meg exchanged a look with Patricia, and simultaneously, they said, "Obliviation."
I nodded. We thought for a few more moments.
"Well…" Meg said finally. "I doubt this would work, but what if we were to see the person who spelled us, maybe…maybe we'd recover our memories."
"I don't know. There are a lot of people, for one thing, who could have spelled us. If that were possible, though, I'm sure they would have taken off. Maybe gone as far as Japan," Patricia said.
At that time, we didn't know exactly how close to the mark she was…
"So. I guess we'll just have to wing it," I said, when we came up with no more ideas.
"I guess so."
Someone requested yaoi. I am not Antigay, or homophobic, or anything like that, I swear. I just don't read or write yaoi. Sorry. Not happening.
Also, I noticed that the characters talk like Americans. Tough luck for you people, but I also refuse to try and give them British accents. If they start spewing stuff like "Tommy Rot" and crap, everyone would know that IBG is a freaky American trying to sound Brit. Yeah. Not going to happen. I already look retarded enough.
And now…(drumroll, please) IBG gives you a present! Read on! (In Usagi's Point of View!) "…and you'll be best man, of course." I looked at Gaara, hoping for some reaction.
This didn't mean anything, of course. Gaara had been saying 'Mmhmm' at exactly the right point throughout our conversation. Well, my conversation. I frowned, and then pulled my face into a pout. "Gaara-kun…don't you love me?"
He rolled his eyes. "Of course…"
I smiled triumphantly. He'd said something other than 'Mmhmm'!
"Then why aren't you listening to meeee?" I whined, pulling his sudden attention to my advantage.
He sighed. "I am listening."
"No," I informed him, "You're hearing me. You aren't listening. Don't you want to know how I plan to get married? Don't you care? About Haku and me? Aren't you glad that I'm going to be happy, and that I'll still live here? And that Haku will be staying here in Suna? You thought you'd lose a kunoichi, but instead, you gained a very valuable shinobi! Does that not affect you at all?"
He blinked. "Do you want an honest answer? I don't think you do. You want me to lie."
"You don't care." I pretended to blink back tears.
Now my eyes really did well up. "…You…don't?"
Anger rushed through me, now. I knew exactly the reason for his apathy. "Gaara, you idiot. Pull yourself together. She's gone, okay? She's in another dimension, for crying out loud. She doesn't remember you! I'm sorry, but it's true."
He looked at me, his eyes filled with impenetrable sadness. "Are you telling me you wouldn't be acting exactly the same if you lost Haku?"
This stopped me, bringing my anger to an abrupt halt. "Are you saying that you loved her?" I breathed.
He sighed, having anticipated the question. "Yes. More than my life itself. And now I envy everyone who was obliviated…they don't remember. And all I want to do is forget…"
I honestly didn't know what to say. Seconds ago, I'd been telling him to do just that. And yet…it seemed unfair to Meg. It seemed unfair that we'd left them… Unfair that we'd split so many couples…
I sighed. "I don't know what to tell you, Gaara. Love is strong, okay? Anything is possible."
He shook his head. "The spell is practically irreversible. I don't think that she'll remember...Or figure out how to remember. And even if she does, how will she get back to me?"
I looked into his forlorn eyes and saw the despair there. "Don't give up, Gaara. But you have to pull yourself together. We did what we had to, okay? It's not your fault; don't wallow in undeserving guilt."
He closed his eyes. The insomnia was returning, I saw. While he'd been in England with Meg, he'd slept for the first time in years. Now sleep was escaping him, and he couldn't escape in it. Guilt that he shouldn't be feeling was stealing it away, keeping him up at night. I walked around his desk and gave him a hug.
"My poor, poor little brother," I murmured. An old joke.
He sighed exasperatedly, playing along. "I'm not your brother. Usagi…Haku is waiting for you outside. Go see him…"
I took a step back and looked at his desolate figure, hunched over his desk, looking but not seeing the words in front of him. "Gaara? Are you sure you don't want me to do your paperwork? I really don't mind."
He shook his head. "I'm fine."
I knew that wasn't true. I didn't say a word. He knew I knew. I didn't need to point anything out. I sighed, and turned to go out the door. As I stepped through the threshold, I glanced back, and saw a single tear run down his face. His eyes were closed, remembering.
By the way, the songs that fits this little bonus—at least, they made sense to me—are Ohio is for Lovers by Hawthorne Heights for Gaara's side, and Move Along by The All-American Rejects for Usagi, as in what she's saying to Gaara. (I own neither song, naturally.)
Anyone who know me…and knows my mind—which eliminates all of you, with the exception of Whitney, the inner me, and all my friendly neighborhood voices—knows that I can't ever just come out and type what I wanted to. This little bonus was supposed to be Haku and Usagi fluff…and this is what happened. So that'll be next chapter's bonus. Did I mention that? Every chapter's gonna have a bonus! Aren't you people lucky!
The next chapter will be better, I swear.
With no further adieu, read and review!!