Calendar Ten

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything that goes with him. All J.K.'s.

Warnings: mentions of slash and violence, character death, veela!Draco;

A/N: A very uncute little one-shot that just popped into my head and practically begged to be written. Took me about an hour and I'm not all that happy with it, but I guess it's sufficiently unconventional: yet another cliché (this time the veela claiming his mate or going insane) that I've managed to turn on its head. Hope it doesn't disappoint (that's my less than subtle plea for reviews…).
Anyways, still alive here, but quite busy, so I have little time to write. Sorry. No one's sadder about it than I am.
Nevertheless, enjoy.

The Villain and the Hero

The urge to hysterically laugh has passed and now the urge to cry is gradually fading. I stare out of the window, holding a hand in mine and marveling at how huge an irony my life has turned out to be.

Three days ago it was the third anniversary of the final battle. I rather enjoyed myself. The insipid celebrations do not tend to entertain me, but there is a distinct sense of accomplishment the date renews in me every year: I have done very, very well for myself. The Dark Lord and his army were defeated, the so-called Order of the Phoenix decimated on the battlefield, and the Ministry of Magic subsequently rebuilt hardly different from the one we used to have before – hence why I walked free, with my head held high and my assets intact despite the Dark Mark stark against the skin of my left forearm. Oh yes, it was a glorious day.

I snicker – I can't stop it – and my eyes burn. I wish I could bring myself to let go of the hand, but the fingertips softly pressing into my palm provide the barest hint of comfort… the only comfort I'm going to get.

I've waited for this day for nigh on twenty-one years… actually, I've been waiting ever since I could understand what my parents were telling me when they mentioned veela and genetics and soul-mates. I came into my inheritance today: I had very little maturing left to do, so the only real effect this had on me was the keen awareness of my mate that I've gained. It was… more than enough.

I've waited for this day for so long… I'm having trouble accepting that it's the worst, the saddest day of my life. And the irony… all the blame lying square on my own shoulders… I want to weep and my eyes burn with dryness.

The pathetic, laughable story starts some time in distant past, but the important part would have begun on the day I've recently so conceitedly celebrated (what a fool I've been! I've never believed fate would fuck over me – a Malfoy!). The battle was mostly over, and I spent its entirety watching the show, safely ensconced in the best seat – in the observation cubby just off the Dark Lord's throne room. Potter used some rather dodgy magic on the Dark Lord and, oddly enough, managed to off him. He got winded in the process, though, and it was just such a golden opportunity – I couldn't let it escape, could I? Honestly, an exhausted Potter, alone in the middle of the enemy's lair… a trait I believed myself deserving of, after six years of being continually demeaned by this mediocre excuse of a wizard…

So I got out of my station and made him feel my… displeasure. I might have gone a bit overboard, but it's not like he didn't deserve it… and I couldn't afford to have him rat on me later, anyway. Thus I indulged myself, putting Aunt Bellatrix' endless lessons on the Unforgivables to good use. His screams were like nothing I've ever heard before. To this day… Well, no, no… Till yesterday, I treasured the sound as my most precious memory. I even once used it to summon a Patronus, and it was the best damn try on the spell I've ever made.

In short, I tortured Potter…

Tortured him till he stopped screaming and twitching. Till he lay so silent and still and I thought he was finally, finally dead. I got rid of the wand just in time to get 'rescued' by the Ministry clean-up force, be taken into 'protective custody' for a couple of days and be released on the power of my name (and the money that goes with it) just in time for a celebration of my birthday.

I laughed into Weasel's and Mudblood's face when they were crying their eyes out about him; I taunted them and, Morgan, it felt good – so what if he wasn't completely dead? The Healer the Ministry sent in with the Hitwizards managed to re-start Potter's heart, but fat lot of good it did to him when the Longbottoms seemed completely sane in comparison to him. He's in coma – forever, but being the Hero, the Saviour of the wizarding world, they keep him alive just to be able to say they do.

Anyway, life moved on, the magical society slid into its old ways so easily, as if the bump of Tom Riddle never happened. I got my inheritance, buried my parents and went on to manage my estate and refuse countless marriage proposals, waiting for my twenty-first birthday to find my one true mate, to find the fairy-tale love my mother would spin stories about and accept the rest of my social and political power.

I woke up… let's see… five hours ago, with the most disconcerting and yet comforting pressure under my heart, a cord of magic leading somewhere into the distance – to that one person I would claim as mine and at whose feet I would set the world. I don't think I've realised what it meant when it lead me into this building. It's quite possibly I simply assumed that my mate was a Healer, or a Nurse or… a paper-pusher…

The corridors here are painted 'cheerful' blue, the walls scattered with pictures. The Nurses always smile at everyone and talk sweetly to retards and schizophrenics and the worst psychopaths our society managed to turn out and … I'm stalling right now, but, damn it! I, I…

I walked straight to this room, absently exchanged some meaningless pleasantry with the staff and then got my world thrown off its axis when the door clicked shut behind me and I realised there was only one person in this room and he was lying in the only bed, sleeping.

Sleeping, like I made him, looking too thin and gaunt, like he always did, even back in Hogwarts when he could eat his fill… He's barely recognisable, though, in fitting clothes (hospital pyjamas), with his eyes closed and his glasses missing.

In fact, had I not sensed his essence, I might not have known who he was.

I'm not liable to panic – my reflexive action has always been flight – but the bond was tugging me forward and I couldn't dupe myself enough to believe there was a mistake. I am clever. I couldn't deny that he was my mate. I've been sitting here ever since, figuring out what this meant for me. I'm almost at peace now… almost.

I stand up. There is this overwhelming need to touch him, but I slowly, extremely aware of every tiniest motion I make, set his hand down onto the crispy white sheet. I want to kiss him, just once, to taste him, taste what it could have been like if I wasn't such a fucking vindictive opportunist little prick… but I don't. I've got things to do before I lose my mind.

I walk out of the door, feeling my substance – all the things that make me Draco Malfoy – wither and crumble. I wonder if the house elves that clean this place would have to tidy up pieces of me. My eyes are focused forwards, though, not on the floor. That would be unbecoming. I'm walking to my death, yes, but I walk proud. I will notify my lawyer, make the arrangements for everything that I've gained today to go to some of my cousins… I don't even really care who… it doesn't matter. The lawyer will choose someone… I don't have anybody I want to leave it to.

Today was supposed to be the real beginning of my life… I feel the sunrays on my skin as I walk out of that accursed building, but I trudge on up the street to Diagon Alley without a pause. Just a few hours now; I'll sign the Will and go home and have my last drink – I don't think I'll be in the mood to enjoy food, so the last meal is out of question – and lie down to sleep… like I made him sleep, only there won't be anyone to pretend I'm still alive.

He would have made a fucking great Slytherin: he made me destroy myself… and love him all through it.