It's a world of grey. The food is dust on your tongue. The wind whips and you only feel the stinging cold. There is no colour. There is only shades of grey – terrible, seeping, tainted shades of grey. Lying in wait so innocently… they wait until you don't expect it and they reach out and grasp their hold on you, so tightly; so cold. You feel as if you cannot breathe; that everything is too much. You can't stand it – it's a whirlwind, everything's blurring and insane and it's coming to get you, but the grey is so encompassing and you cannot get away.
You want to scream, but noise is drowned out.
It is drowned out by grey.
The war is over – it has been over for a summer. Two months so filled with funerals and sorrow. You've heard about the celebrations, about the inauguration of Kingsley Shacklebolt as the new Minister. You've heard about the Order of Merlins being distributed. You've heard about countless ceremonies being held in honor of Harry Potter, of Hermione Granger, of Ron Weasley, of Neville Longbottom – yes, even Neville Longbottom. The Ministry is settling down. So is Azkaban. And Hogwarts is being rebuilt. It should be ready in a week for you to go back.
You wonder if you're actually going to go back.
You wonder if there's even a point.
Father would not care much. On your weaker days, you wonder if the Kiss had redeemed him in any way. It probably hadn't, you know that so easily. But you wonder if maybe that sacrifice – the sacrifice your father has ever made on behalf of you, to protect you – was even worth it. Your Mother didn't care much. You know she blames you – you blame you, so it is only right for the others to see where the blame falls. You were too weak, you've always been too weak (quidditch, grades, Voldemort) in everything you've always done.
You're nothing more than a failure.
A failure that can't see the truth until it's too late.
Until the truth is lost in grey.
And now your family name is in ruin, your family trust is dried up, your father is dead to the world; he accepted the agreement – instead of both you and him having to suffer life sentences rotting in Azkaban, he took the Kiss and cleared your name – and now mother is dead to the world, but in a different way. Firewhiskey is good to drown in. Almost as frightening as grey.
Grey like your eyes, like your hair, like the ring on your finger.
Like your heart.
Your heart is a very dark shade of grey. Very, very dark.
You wonder if you even have a heart.
You know you don't have your wand. It would have been so easy, had you had your wand. You could have gone into that trial room and confessed everything – everything you'd ever done. If you'd had your wand. But you didn't – Potter still had it. So you were frightened; terrified. You went into that trial and you lied. You lied, and you lied, and you lied some more.
Potter and Granger and Weasley scoffed behind your back. They knew you were lying. Their glares burned holes in your back. You felt small – small like a speck of dust in a cloud. Clouds are grey. You are grey too.
It was Mother's turn. You weren't in the witness stands. They herded you back out the door, where you sat on a hard, stone bench. The stone was grey. It was freezing, and the cold seeped into your bones.
Father was sitting on the bench across from you. He stared at you the whole time, but you never once looked back up at him. You were too afraid, too scared. You didn't have your wand. Potter still had your wand.
Mother came back out, and she was crying. She did not see you sitting there. You wonder how she could have missed you, but you did not wonder for long. She went straight to Father, hugged him fiercely and tight. She told him what you had done – that you had lied. The Wizengamot must have told her what you'd said. Father told her to hush. He said he'd take care of it, that he'd take care of the family. And then they looked at you, and you looked at the ground, too ashamed to look up and you feared you'd just fucked everything up further. Then father walked in to the courtroom, and you've never seen him since.
And you knew, so easily, by the way Mother went straight to the door and sobbed, that you had fucked up. You'd failed again, and nothing would ever change. You've always been the failure, the coward, the pussy.
You've always been: Draco Malfoy, the Grey.
And you wish you'd never been at all.