Puking Pastilles

This story was written in response to a challenge given. This story has very little to do with the actual challenge. The only parts I was true to were A) having a bulimic character and B) their method of purging.

I know admittedly little about bulimia, despite having a recovering bulimic friend. I'm sorry if things seem out of place. Kindly tell me when he's ("he" being Draco Malfoy) all wrong and I'll do my best to fix him.

Also, in case you were wondering, this takes place right before the "Sectumsempra Incident."

"In my head the flesh seems thicker
Sandpaper tears corrode the film

And I need you now somehow
And I need you now somehow

Open fire on the needs designed
On my knees for you
Open fire on my knees desires
What I need from you"

From "Ana's Song (Open Fire)" by silverchair

Since his father was taken to Azkaban, he became more obsessed with perfection than ever. Partly because he knew he was meant to be the replacement, and he couldn't very well afford to be as much of a disappointment to his family and to the Dark Lord as his father had become.

Since the previous year, he had been the top buyer of the Weasley twins' Skiving Snackboxes, but he was buying them more frequently, now. He had given the money to a first year and sent him after them. He couldn't be seen supporting the business of people like the Weasleys. Although he bought so many of the snackboxes, meant to make one ill enough to convince teachers to excuse one from class, he had yet to miss any classes, at least he hadn't missed any classes due to those. Also, he mostly gave away the Nosebleed Nougats and the others. It was only the Puking Pastilles he was interested in.

Some girls he knew simply jammed their fingers down their throat, but the Puking Pastilles were a much easier way of getting the same result. One after a very small breakfast and a very small supper (not lunch, which was also small, as he'd need that bit of energy for Quidditch practice in the afternoon, plus the practice would burn the food off anyway). And doing it his way meant that there was no tell-tale blood beneath his fingernails. Yes, his way was much easier to hide. Especially at school, where nobody really paid much attention to what he ate, other than Pansy, who really had no room to talk on the matter, although she assumed he didn't know. But she was so unknowingly obvious, what with those teeth marks on her knuckles and never touching any food until her stomach was growling at supper, at which time she would eat everything within her reach. No Malfoy would let such a weakness be so obvious. Yes, his way was much better. No one would have to know.

He wasn't losing much, though. Not nearly as much as he'd have liked. And he had a task to do for the Dark Lord. And he was a prefect. Just a simple switch of letters away from perfect. But he wasn't perfect, obviously. If he were perfect, he'd have come up with a plan by now to complete his task and he'd have had it done. If he were perfect, he'd have the willpower. He would be able to ignore his hunger that forced him to eat; he wouldn't have to buy those sweets.

No, he was not perfect. But being a prefect gave him use of the prefects' bathroom, which generally afforded him a bit of privacy, which was good. Maybe no one would pay attention to his eating habits or his buying of the joke-sweets in bulk, but it would be hard to miss hearing a person vomiting all the time. Once, after a meal, he had headed toward the prefects' bathroom, Puking Pastille in hand, only to find that there was someone there taking a bath, so he was forced to go up a floor to the nearest regular bathroom. This was inconvenient, but otherwise all right. If anyone came in, he could simply tell them he was ill. Up to this point, nobody had been given any reason to worry about him.

He walked across the bathroom, glancing around at the slightest noise like an easily spooked cat. He entered the nearest cubicle and locked the door behind him. He swallowed one end of the sweet and vomited into the toilet. The retching used to hurt his stomach, but it's amazing what people can get accustomed to, even grow to find comforting. And it was comforting. Yes, he'd had a moment of weakness, just like every other day, but he had managed to correct it. He was back on the right track. He swallowed the other end of the sweet to stop the effects of the first part before he started vomiting again and he went to the sink to rinse his mouth.

He turned on the tap and brought some water to his mouth with his hands. He swished the water around in his mouth and spit it into the sink. He took another mouthful of water and swished in his mouth while he thought. He thought about the weight he'd gained at Christmas and he thought about the fact that Dumbledore was not dead yet. He thought about his own death, which would surely happen soon, if he didn't manage to kill Dumbledore. He thought about the incredible weight on his shoulders and about how he was too weak to hold it up much longer. A tear slipped down his cheek, and before he knew it, his face was covered in them. He couldn't remember the last time he had cried like this. Then, a ghost girl floated up through the floor and smiled at him. It was Moaning Myrtle, and she was looking at him as though she were thrilled that, for once, someone other than her was crying alone in a bathroom. He looked at her behind him in the mirror and chose to ignore her. He gripped the sides of the sink and looked at his own reflection, hating everything about it, from the weight he'd gained over Christmas, which was so little only he knew it was there, to the streams of tears on his cheeks that had the power to give away everything he had been hiding. He looked down at the paper wrapping from the Puking Pastille still in his hand. Those Weasley twins had developed them as a joke. Something for a bit of fun. But this was no joke. There wasn't anything fun or amusing about his situation.

Draco Malfoy's shoulders slumped and he leaned forward, looking down into the sink, unable to look at his reflection anymore and he just stood there and cried as the ghost girl said things meant to be comforting that he couldn't hear through his thoughts.

The End.

This story had more to it, but the more research I did on eating disorders, the less I found I understood them. Maybe when I know more, I'll edit the long version and replace this one with that.