Author's notes: Thank you, lj user"mikabird", for your concrit and for having so much fun together! I love our word plays and most of all the feeling of mutual understanding. glomps I wish I had a beta for my original German stories who would be as dedicated and constructive as you are.
I always love to hear your thoughts.
His Father's eyes were watching him all the time. He could feel them while he was sitting in his classes or studying in the library, doing his homework. They were upon him while he was flying his broom and especially during the Quidditch matches. They would even watch him in the silence of the night, lying in his bed and thinking about... things. He never dared to touch himself.
His entire life he felt as if he were crawling up a mountain – trying to make his Father proud. A wicked mountain. Every time he eventually fell asleep and woke up again, he found himself back at the base, to start anew.
Sometimes he failed, like the day his arm got cut by that blasted beast of a Hippogriff, or when Potter beat him to the Snitch for the umpteenth time. Then, he could hear his Father's voice inside his head, calling him names, 'Disgrace to the family' and 'Not my son anymore' among them. It hurt him more than the bloody gash on his arm or the hard knock as his body hit the ground. It hurt him more than the cheers for Gryffindor or the reprimands from Flint. He knew then, that he was no good, not good enough for his Father and for his family, the Malfoys.
A disgrace to the family, he would scrub his skin mercilessly after the deed, trying to wash away his failure. Until the water was tinged red with the blood that dripped from his skin. Father hated sloppiness.
A disgrace to the family, he would deprive himself from warmth and nourishment – even more so when not an offer for his body but his heart. He would flee the company of his fellow students and snarl at anybody who tried to reach out. Malfoys didn't chum up. And before long, people stopped trying. So, in the end, he succeeded in something. Maybe he was worthy of being a Malfoy after all?
After he had failed in the tower, his story took a turn for the worse. Snape snatched him away and they hid for some time in places unknown to Draco. Places where he got dirt on his hands and not enough water to clean them properly. Those places were darker than the dungeons at Hogwarts and he quickly lost track of time. His experience with the dark was limited to fear from long unspoken and recently outright threats; he had never been in the dungeons of Malfoy Manor.
When they finally went to see the Dark Lord, He wasn't too pleased with Draco. Lucius stood in the back and watched silently as their master held his son under the Cruciatus Curse. Draco writhed on the floor, which was dark with dirt; hard soil, unlike the stone floor at Hogwarts or the marble at the Manor. At last the curse was lifted not to be repeated. Through eyes that were watering from pain, Draco saw the filth on his hands, on his clothes, on every pore of his very skin. And he just knew, without needing to see it, that a despising smirk was playing around his Father's lips. Covered with grime, a disgrace to the family, he didn't dare to look up.
The mark came to him not as an honour but as a punishment, branded painfully into his skin to claim him, to mark him as another's possession. In that moment, he briefly forgot about his Father.
Dismissed by the Dark Lord – "Go and make yourself useful!" – his back burning from his Father's gaze, he slowly followed his former Professor out of the room. He heard Lucius' voice inside his head. It would never be silent any more. His Father meant to make sure that he, Draco, wouldn't be a disgrace to the family ever again.
They reached a dark little room at the end of a long corridor. Draco took in the sparse details. A small window set high into the wall, far beyond his reach. A sleeping cot. A rough wooden table and a stool. Snape wordlessly handed him a flask of water and left; he had other duties to attend to.
Draco curled into a ball on the floor, which was rough and cold against his body. He covered his ears with his hands, but his Father's voice wouldn't stop berating him. He scratched at his skin until it was bleeding, but he couldn't tear away the filth; and those eyes burned him with their knowing look.
Some days later, the shaking of his hands had stopped and Snape let him do little things, preparations for potions, mostly. Draco was glad that his hands were given another task besides the scratching. Snape gave him a stern look and a healing salve. At night, Draco licked the salve out of its jar. It burned on his tongue and in his mouth and made his eyes water. But he was a disgrace to the family and not supposed to heal.
The entire time while he was working on the potions with meticulous care, he was anxiously listening, hoping for footsteps to approach his cell. If his Father were to come to him in person, he would bear his wrath and make him proud. He knew that his Father was in control, that he could demand anything from his son and Draco would give it willingly, without hesitating. He would have been ready to show his wounds, to show that he was making amends, but the footsteps never came. It was then that Draco realised he was not even worth the attention of his Father's contempt. He suffered in silence, choking on his deepest fear. The acid of the potions eat away at the skin on his hands, but he felt nothing.
When the Dark Lord was at last defeated, his right-hand-man fell by his side. Potter's supporters entered the castle and searched for any Death Eaters who were left. They met Snape and he led them to Draco. He explained that Draco had been a victim of the Dark Lord all the time, a victim of his father's deeds. Draco wanted to scream, NO, that's not true, but found that somehow his Father's eyes had taken his voice.
When they led him to the body, his legs were trembling.
He sank down onto his knees beside the dead man, who could have been father to a boy, but had decided for a disgrace of the family instead. He touched the face, the still smooth skin, with his own gnarled hand. The ravens had taken Lucius' eyes, but Draco would always feel them on his back. The worms would take Lucius' vocal cords, but Draco could hear him talking inside his head nevertheless. "Father," he mumbled.
When they led him away, he was barely able to walk on his own.
They took care of him; Snape could be very convincing. Three days later Draco was found, huddled in a dark corner of the Weasleys' chicken shed. He didn't fight as they pried the knife from his bloodstained hands.
No Healer was called; Molly Weasley could take care of injuries quite well, and besides, Draco was living on charity right now. No one could afford expenses. The deep wound on his left forearm stayed, healing up ever so slowly.
At night, he removed the bandage and picked at the scabs. Scratched a bit here, pulled a bit there. It hurt just a little, not enough to kill the constant pain in his head. The small drops of red that oozed from the wound were glimpses of relief to him.
He found another knife. There was no other mark to cut, but enough skin to mar. He watched his tension slipping away with the red flow on his body. Relief washed over him, cleaning him. He did not understand why they took the solace of his knife away for the second time.
A Malfoy never begged. Draco didn't beg as they took the knife. He simply found other tools. The shredded bark of a tree, the thorn of a rose. A broken bottle. A discarded tin. To him, they were all the same. All that counted were the cuts they made.
All that counted were the cuts he made.
All that counted was the flow it brought.
All that counted was the penance and the solace.
The penance and the solace.
Tied up in his bed, eyes screwed shut, he struggled against the restraints. The burn of his Father's eyes hurt so much. He could not bear his Father's voice any longer, screaming at him. Insulting him. Disgrace to the family. Not my son anymore. Not my son at all. Never my son. Never a Malfoy.
Draco Never-a-Malfoy opened his eyes. He longed to take a rest. And so he waited, biding his time. He studied the room, calculating his steps. He would be ready, for the moment when they were going to release his bounds.
He would walk to the wall that faced the window and run. He would hit the window after seven steps and crush through the glass. It would cut his whole body to pieces. Arms and face first, chest following, finally the legs, as he would fall through the window of the hospital room.
He sighed with content as he pictured himself falling, hitting the ground, his body broken and bleeding. Finally freed from his Father's eyes and voice.
He could feel and hear them during every single of his waking hours, never ceasing to watch, never stopping to lecture him, never silent. Berating him and waking him up in the middle of the night, haunting him in his sleep. Until his death he would never be free, and all he longed for was peace. And so he was waiting to be released from the restraints that cut into his flesh. Patient. Desperate. Placing all his hopes on the last run he wanted to make.
Draco, like many, didn't know that the windows in St. Mungo's Mental Ward were charmed to be unbreakable.