Disclaimer: I doubt JKR dyes her hair red. And since my hair is most definitely fake red, I can't be JKR and thus can't own Harry Potter or anything associated with it. It's a shame...
A/N: There's one after the story that I'd like you to read! For now, just enjoy and tell me what you thought of it. If you think it sucked, tell me anyway, just don't be insulting. I'm not very fond of flamers.
Live forever, die alone - Amor Aeternus
It had been ages and still this was the year's most horrible day.
It was the day when Draco locked the door to his room, sat in front of the fireplace and drank until he passed out. It was a clean procedure, almost clinical. The fire would burn down while he slowly emptied a bottle of firewhiskey, sip by sip. There'd be no hurry. No sound. Just him and the fire and his way of forgetting for a few glorious hours.
It was perfectly normal. The Malfoys had gotten used to not seeing their son on his birthday. The house elves didn't freak out anymore when they found his motionless body the next day. Routine. Don't wake him up until the day is over. A hangover potion afterwards. And that was it.
Draco Malfoy hated his birthday. Not because it meant growing older. That, he didn't mind. Today he'd turn 31 and he was still as handsome as ever. And even if that was not the case, it wouldn't bother him. Aging was not the point. The reason for his taking the easy way out every year on this particular date was that he already felt thousands of years old. Thousands of years and suddenly without her.
A flame shot out of the fire, teasing him. It was always the same. She was fire, he was ice. Looking at the dancing tongues in front of him, he could only see the way her eyes shone in passion.
They'd been lovers in every single one of his lives. Some way or another they'd always found each other. He'd had many lives and they had all revolved around their undying love.
It was deeply unfortunate that he remembered all of them. He probably wouldn't mind as much if he didn't know with every ounce of his being that they were destined to be together. Eternally bound to each other. Reborn only to die in each other's arms and reborn and reborn and reborn.
She didn't know that. He'd never gotten around to telling her and even if he had, she would have just called him crazy. She had called him crazy. Among other things. And that without knowing she was his one true love. Always had been, always would be.
He had no idea how she'd broken the spell. Why she had. It was ancient magic, stronger than the foundations of the earth. Or you could just call it love, there was no difference, really. When a witch and a wizard were meant to be together in their first life and had to die tragically because of it, a special bond was created. Noone understood it and it hardly ever happened, but to them it had. And she had broken the spell without even knowing about it.
Never before had there been a life when she'd despised him. Out of free will and irrevocably. She simply loathed him. He hadn't known that mattered before he'd turned seventeen. It was always the same, in every life. He'd turn seventeen and the memories would come back. He'd recognize her. Fall in love with her all over again. And this time, she had not loved him back.
The spell was broken. He would die alone and be reborn, forever bound to live without her.
And so there he sat, in front of the fireplace, every once in a while taking a sip of his firewhiskey. The burning sensation he was so used to by now gradually numbing him. Just postponing the full blow of his pain another year. Another life. Please...
Ironically, Draco had turned seventeen during the celebrations after the Battle of Hogwarts. That very night after the Golden Trio had triumphed over the Dark Lord he'd been forced to follow. He'd felt old that night, even older than he had the previous two years. Old and somewhat tired, but also happy. They were meant to be together, what could possibly go wrong? The future seemed worth looking forward to. She was his, he was hers, as always, forever, until the end of time.
And then her overjoyed face had clouded as she'd seen him, a look of total and utter disgust stealing its way onto it. He shouldn't have ignored the sinking feeling in his stomach. He shouldn't have smiled at her only to make her sneer. When he'd walked up to her to tell her they were destined to be lovers, she'd laughed at him in a bitter, ironic way. Yes, irony was not his best friend in this particular life. He'd pushed the despair forming in his chest, constricting it, making his every heart beat painful. He'd kissed her. She'd slapped him, yelled for quite a while and then walked away.
And that had been his seventeenth birthday.
Even though it had been obvious something was not right, he'd continued to persue her. On his twentieth birthday she'd had enough and he'd spent the day and the following year in Azkaban. Returning to the Manor on his 21th birthday, he'd spent the day drinking in front of the fireplace until he'd passed out.
And that was how he'd gotten from then to here. Draco hated his birthdays.
The bottle was half-empty, the fire merely aglow when there was a knock on the door. Which was reasonably new. Noone had bothered Draco on his birthday ever since he'd (accidentally) hexed a house elf. His stormy grey eyes sluggishly went towards the gloom near the ebony door. Other than that, he did not move.
Another knock, then someone carefully opened the door. Tipsy, an older house elf (and incidentally the same he'd hexed), stood there terrified. Shaking all over, he squeaked:
"Ma-... Master and Mistress Malfoy... wish to see young Master Draco! They have a present for him!"
Not even the hint of an emotion showed on Draco's face. Tipsy nervously retreated, taking the fact that he was still whole as a 'yes'. Not even two seconds later, Lucius Malfoy barged through the door, followed by a somewhat excited-looking Narcissa. Draco regarded his parents as if there was an empty spot that he just couldn't seem to find interesting instead of them.
"Son. Do you not wish to greet your parents?", Lucius commanded in his usual tone.
Had Draco uttered anything, it would have been something along the lines of:
"Whoever said I wanted you here?"
Lucius wrinkled his nose in disgust at his son's passivity. The present had been Narcissa's idea. Now he was not quite sure whether Draco even deserved the effort. The only thing that had convinced him something had to be done was the fact that what his son was doing there was nothing short of pathetic. Malfoys were not pathetic, that was the rule.
As Draco didn't reply and Lucius stared him down angrily, Narcissa quickly chirped in.
"We brought you a present! I am sure it will cheer you up!"
And then there she was. A single wave of her wand and she was lying on the floor, bound, gagged, fighting against the ropes. Terrified, panicked, so completely helpless.
"We know she's always been a thorn in your side. Now you can do whatever you want with her."
"Don't worry. We made sure there was no way this can be tracked back to you."
Draco slowly and unsteadly rose, looking down on the woman at his feet. He reached into his pocket and with a somewhat tormented sigh drew his wand. She closed her eyes and turned her head away.
Narcissa and Lucius' surprised faces froze and they fell onto the floor with a thud.
He took a step towards the woman, swaying from the alcohold shooting through his blood, but halted immediately when she writhed away from him. So, instead of coming any closer, he muttered a counter-curse that made her bonds disappear. He then went back to sit on his chair. Falling down heavily onto it, the thousands of years showing on his face, weighing him down.
When she didn't make a move and just looked at him in a shocked manner, he started whispering. He sounded tired, very serious, sad.
"The thing with us is called amor aeternus. Very poweful, ancient magic. Maybe you've heard of it. We live forever, reborn and reborn and reborn, just to be together. It might be an interesting thing to look up, I know you love research. I don't know how and why you managed to break the spell..."
She was staring at him, eyes wide open and his lips twisted into a sad little smile.
"But it doesn't really concern you anymore, does it? From this life on, I'll die alone."
Still no answer.
"Get out, Granger."
Her gorgeous brown hair fell into her face as she hurried back on her feet. Her eyes didn't even meet his when she turned around and fled the building, passing his remarkably motionless stony parents.
He wished she had just allowed him to look at her one single moment longer. Drowning in her chocolate eyes, illuminated by the dying fire.
It was the ultimate irony that she of all people had turned out to be his one eternal love. He never would have expected to ever see her genuinly fear him. Hate him. Pity him. It was enough.
"I really wish-...", he started, absentmindedly staring at the spot she'd been just seconds ago, but his voice broke and he stopped speaking altogether.
When Hermione had made it out of the Manor - in sheer horror not even remembering she was a witch and could just apparate – she turned around breathlessly. And her heart that had been beating so fast her chest had felt like it was about to explode seemed to stop for a second as she saw the blinding green light emerge from a second floor window. Then it stopped abruptly and only the dim glow of fire could be seen.
She drew a sharp breath through closed teeth, stood perfectly still for a moment and then ran as fast and as far away as she could.
Back in his room, Draco's dead face seemed torn in its haunted, sad smile and there was no peace on it even then. While the warmth slowly, gradually left his body, his spell wore off and his parents could move again. Softly weeping, Narcissa cradled her son's corpse and Lucius just stood there shell-shocked and feeling oddly alone.
And as Hermione ran and ran and ran, she could hear a scream of pain and agony echoing through her mind that was not her own.
A/N:This story is one I've always wanted to write. Actually, that's not completely true. This is what happened to a story I wanted to write.
Truth to be told, my characters came up with a storyline I hadn't had in mind and I don't think I did it justice with this oneshot. Too much potential for someone whose muse has left her.
So if anyone feels like picking up the plot or writing a different ending or manages to come up with the story of their eternal love, please, do write your story. I'd be very happy, honored, even.
Of course, I'd be even happier if you contacted me before or after publishing so I could read it, too. Have fun!