A/N: When I first started reading the books, I HATED Draco Malfoy with a burning passion. Then, around the time I finished the fifth book i started to write this story. When the seventh book came out, i discovered the maybe Malfoy wasn't all that bad after all. I actually enjoy reading about that whole family (aside from their kid's names. Scorpius? I'm beginning to think that Draco's wife had no say in the naming of their son. I mean SERIOUSLY! Scorpius!? What is with the Malfoys and naming their kids after constalations?).
Anyway, post Voldemort, good times, good times.
Everything aside from Roxanna belongs to JK Rowling. I own NOTHING but Roxanna!!!
Prologue---You Take the Breath Right Out of Me, You Left a Hole Where My Heart Should Be
A fifth-year Slytherin boy sighed deeply as he walked out of the stuffy Great Hall. He had been feeling down for a while. After the third time of coming close to catching those who were meeting weekly on the seventh floor in a room hidden in the wall but not actually catching them, he was beginning to believe they would never catch them. For some reason, he did not feel like keeping up with his usual antics, but wanted some time to himself for once. Pansy Parkinson was not too pleased when he told her he was not going to eat with her. Oh well, she can get over it, he did not really care for her that much anyway.
Draco Malfoy walked across the Entrance Hall towards the staircase that led down to the dungeons to the Slytherin common room when something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. He paused and turned around to see another fifth-year girl, from Hufflepuff if he remembered correctly, sprint down the stairs and outside onto the grounds; she appeared to be crying. Malfoy frowned, curious as to what was wrong with the girl. A dumb question, she was always picked on, by Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Slytherins, and Hufflepuffs alike. He had his share of teasing her himself but she never got too upset about it, so why was she so upset now?
He sighed again and backtracked back up the stairs, deciding rather suddenly that he would follow the girl and find out what was bothering her. She ran all the way down the hill to the edge of the Forbidden Forest before turning left down an old dog trail. Malfoy had trouble keeping her in sight through the branches and leaves that hung at eye level in front of him, yet despite leaves smacking his face and branches snagging his robes, he still was able to keep pace with her and somehow managed to notice when she veered off the trail towards the lake.
"What is she doing?" he wondered aloud. "Is she going to drown herself in the lake?" He only said it as a joke but he still could not help but quicken his pace to catch up with her. Turning off the path right behind her, he made much more noise than he would have liked moving down the hill through the thicket, but she did not seem to notice he was there. He got to the bottom of the hill to find a small clearing that opened up right into a small inlet of the lake and right in the middle or it, sitting on the ground next to a boulder half in the water and half out, was the red-headed Hufflepuff girl. She was sobbing as far as Malfoy could tell. Her hair was draped over her face, but by the way she sounded, the tears were definitely there.
He took a deep breath, swallowed the saliva that had accumulated in the back of his throat and walked toward the girl on the ground. He was standing two feet in front of her before he said anything and she did not acknowledge his presence until then, if she even knew he was there at all.
"Roxanna?" Her sobs stopped and she slowly raised her head to look at him. She looked positively dreadful. Her eyes were red and puffy and her cheeks were stained with the salty tears that continued to pour out of her eyes. She frowned when she noticed who it was.
"What do you want, Ferret?" Her voice was ice cold and it cut right through him like a red hot blade. He was surprised at how bad it hurt him to hear her talk to him like that. He flinched at the invisible attack but knelt down beside her anyways. She tried to turn away from him, but he roughly grabbed her cheek with his palm and forced her to face him.
"What happened to you?" he asked. He could not figure out why he was so interested in this one girl, he did not even know her that well. All he knew was that she was a fifth-year Hufflepuff named Roxanna. His mind screamed at his body to stop what it was doing and run away, but it would not listen.
She sniffed and forced her face out of his hand. "Why would you care? You're a Malfoy, you wouldn't care about a damned mudblood like me." Malfoy's eyes widened in shock. Roxanna, a mudblood? That could not be possible. She hated muggles and always tried to stray away from the other muggleborns, especially the Granger girl.
She was mocking him when she said "mudblood", he knew that, but he could not help but notice a slight hint of truth. Some part of her meant to call herself a mudblood. Malfoy was slightly disgusted with what he saw in front of him, and yet he could not bring himself to stand up and leave her wallowing in her misery.
"Why are you crying?" he repeated himself, more curious as to what happened to her. She glared at him, angry at his incessant pestering but he was not going to leave until he got an answer from her and she knew it. Finally realizing that she was not going to get any peace of mind unless he got an answer, she gave in and told him.
"I just received a letter from St. Mungo's." Malfoy's face scowled in disgust, he hated that place. "The woman who took me in after my parents threw me out when I got the letter accepting me into Hogwarts just died last night. She was the only real family I had!" His thumb involuntarily wiped the tears off the girl's cheeks. "What are you doing?" she asked nervously.
Malfoy quickly withdrew his hand and stuffed it in the pocket of his robes. "I'm not sure." That was the truth. He had no idea what he was doing. Inside, he was disgusted with himself.
"What does a rich, pureblood, Slytherin boy like you want with a poor, mudblood, Hufflepuff girl like me?" There it was again, the word "mudblood". He wished she would stop using it on herself. Whenever she used that word, he saw himself, an ugly version of himself that made him sick to his stomach. He hated her. She made him hate himself, hate everything that he was. She revolted him and yet she fascinated him at the same time.
"Truth be told, I have no idea." He took a deep breath and let it out slowly while getting to his feet. "I guess I'll just have to figure that out." That said, he turned and headed back up the hill. He knew she was watching him, he could feel her confused eyes on his back as he headed back through the thicket. He hoped he would never see her again, but knew that was inevitable. She was in a few of his classes after all. She would be the death of him, he knew it. He just hoped that it was not while he was still at Hogwarts.
Roxanna was upstairs in the house that Rosemary Grendel, the woman that had taken care of the young red-head all through her days at Hogwarts, had left her, up in her bedroom, packing all her things for her last year at school. She was just figuring out if she had packed everything or if she was forgetting something when she heard the doorbell ring from downstairs. Confused, she shut the lid of her trunk and made her way down the stairs to the front door.
As soon as she pulled open the heavy oak door, a boy the same age as Roxanna came barging into the house, apparently frantic and nervous. Draco Malfoy had his wand out and was rummaging through the house all the while muttering jinxes and charms to check if the house had been bugged or cursed. After checking every room, upstairs and down, he put his wand back in the inside of his green robes, apparently satisfied.
"You must leave here," he said bluntly yet anxiously. "Now!" he said, his voice rose when Roxanna did not move.
She blinked at him, completely and utterly confused. What the heck was with him? She could only think to say one word. "Why?"
His patience was obviously wearing thin because his normally pale face turned red with rage. "Let's go, woman!" He grabbed her arm and forced her out the front door. "I'm risking my neck to come here to save you and all you can do is stand there and gape stupidly at me? I'm beginning to doubt my reasons for coming! If the Dark Lord finds out that I've left the manor, he will kill me."
Roxanna grabbed her cloak and wand right before she was out the door. She stumbled forward on her front steps before turning around to face Malfoy who had shut her door and was now stalking up the front walkway. "Malfoy, what's going on?" she asked, evidently confused at the whole situation. She locked her front door with her wand and quickly followed Malfoy down the driveway.
"The Dark Lord has taken over the ministry and now they have passed a law for all muggleborns to register with the ministry. If you can't prove you are of magical decent, you will be arrested. I noticed you were on the list of those who failed to show up for registration and came to warn you." His face was calm and void of any emotion.
Roxanna stopped in her tracks. "What?" she asked surprised. "You mean I'm not safe at school?"
Malfoy paused and turned to face her. "Death Eaters have been stationed at Hogwarts to ensure the Dark Lord's rule throughout the wizarding community. Even the new Minister of Magic who replaced Scrimgeor after his death is under the imperius curse by a Death Eater."
Roxanna's mouth dropped open at what Draco Malfoy had just told her. Could it be true? Could the Dark Lord really do that? It just did not seem possible, or even probable. Either way, the boy in front of her looked dead serious and Roxanna was willing to believe what he was telling her. She sighed. "Very well," she said. "If not Hogwarts, and not my home, where can I go?" It seemed stupid to ask and she immediately felt dumb for asking.
"Anywhere," he replied. "Just make sure you are not found by Death Eaters." She nodded and drew her cloak around her, preparing to apparate. "One more thing," Malfoy said, placing a hand on her shoulder. She looked at him with a face that said, "Fire away." "Tell me where you are going so I can send you an owl telling you when it is safe to return."
Roxanna was silent for a few moments before she replied to him. "America," she stated matter-of-factly. "I have an old friend in Arizona that I can stay with." That said, Malfoy removed his hand from her shoulder and she disappeared with a loud crack.
Roxanna, sure enough, found her friend in Arizona and she stayed with her for the entire school year. True to his word, Draco Malfoy sent her an owl in June saying that the Dark Lord had been defeated and it was now safe to return to England. She said goodbye to her friend and apparated back to her house. It was a little beat up and dusty but otherwise still in good condition. Now back in England, she did not hear any word from the blonde boy who had saved her life, and she hoped she would never hear from him again for the rest of her life.
A/N: heh, I had to re-read Deathly Hallows to get this last part right. I chose Arizona because I have a good friend who lives there. In fact, I'm planning on taking a road trip to Tucson during spring break to visit him. I haven't seen him since we graduated high school.
Review please!! or, I KIIIIIILLLLLL!!!!!!