Disclaimer applies as found in chapter one.
Am I the only one who is insane
A revolting disturbance ran on the rails of my nerves throughout me as I took to the laboratorium at every waking moment, trying with great success to develop the potions needed for the Cullen clan.
Things like fertility inhibitors and venom control were brewed with as much secrecy as possible because I wanted to convince myself that they would at least help Edward and Bella; I saw it in that moment that I was never having Jasper back in my life.
That's what I told myself every time I froze in a panic, watching the moments we spent together running through my mind, especially London.
London seemed unforgivable to me as dreams of once upon a time met my hard, cold resolution; dreams of a child sat between two fathers, who doted on and loved that child more than anything. And the secret thoughts, of going to bed with my partner at the end of a long, hard days work and becoming one together.
And Jasper had expected all of that from me, I thought, without ever giving me reasons to give it to him. I fretted, thinking that no matter the comforting words that were said to me, somehow Jasper and I would be interlocked forever, dancing around the issue and always ending up hurting each other. Soul mates, without a reason to be mates at all.
And crushed together, because he was immortal! Damn it! A long term relationship to him, could last the rest of my life!
Although we did have that energy between us; that suffocating, inescapable rush of adventure...
And hadn't it already been an adventure? I was here, working through my issues with the Trio and quite enjoying having them bend to my every whim. I was happy-go-lucky to brew potions; at the very least, that gave me quite the purpose to keep going. I needed that. I needed a hook, an anchor, to keep me from floating the vast sea of the future, unguided and aimless.
I had also suffered for a month in hospital, recovering from the pitiful despair of an imbalanced nervous system. I had, for a few hours, had a baby inside of me.
I had sex with a gorgeous, emotional vampire and been bitten, cursed. Yes, he had cursed me... he had laid his hands on me and made me wish for more of that touch. That bad kind of touch that would cause me to loose all sense of control if I let myself have it.
I missed it... and I missed him.
Though, irresponsible thoughts like that, had to be punished out of me. Just like sixth and seventh year at Hogwarts; I used to skip meals and run jagged edges over my skin, every time I felt like defaulting from the dark side and every time I felt like leaving my mother in the snake pit. Every time I felt selfish or my thoughts led somewhere I wasn't willing to go, however comfortable and warming they may be, I would hurt myself into submission.
Hurt became a real eye opener. I was gifted with clarity upon receiving the pain.
And I did that now; if I dare think about Jasper as someone who might be an addition to my life, I subtracted him from the situation ignoring the natural response to wipe away hot liquids from my skin, when they spat out of cauldrons. When I knew I could get away with it, I would put my food in the trash.
I was blinded to when this had begun again; as I understand it now, it was probably a transition from annoying everyone around me as I went into a solitary potions rush.
However, Alice was quite keen to watch me work in the laboratorium. Never once did it stop amazing her as the candelabras flamed to life at my magical presence, as we graced the cold dungeons together. Never once did it it fail to infuriate me as her powerful eyes watched me.
I was content with Harry's lessening presence also... him, with his knowing eyes, watching me. Those knowing eyes filled with memories of our hateful history. Those knowing eyes made me shudder.
The healers had told me they wouldn't let me leave St. Mungo's until I showed a cheery, light of heart demeanour... I would often think, and pride myself on it, how good an actor I was. There was nothing inside me except a burning rage.
And fuck it! It was hard with Alice watching me all the time too... I don't know if she sensed my discomfort, or my irritation, as she flew around the dungeons, searching all the passages and rooms for anything she thought might be helpful in her quest. It was hard to get away with missing meals and letting the urge to brew overcome me.
I thought that the dungeons was my domain. Mine. I was safe down here. I wasn't going to cause a ruckus. Alice just cemented herself as my watcher and irritator for no explainable reason.
She was always looking for more and more interesting things... magical things. Dark things. Items that would light up and shine for her or morph into other things. After a while, I used befuddling charms on her, just so she would come up empty handed. And, there was a lot of disturbing things in the dungeons at best; things I did not want to general public to be aware of. My general public; that crazy bunch of fuckers that walked the floors above me.
So, it came as some surprise that even though she had buried me beneath her heavy energies and excited emotions that after a week or so, Alice no longer came down to see me.
I no longer found the need to take myself upstairs either. Down there, in the darkened space, was the perfect opportunity to rid myself of the evils from the outside world.
Being back at home, no matter how relieving and enjoyable the boyhood memories may be, a thundering scare boomed about the walls of the Manor; I remembered long summer nights awakened by the ghostly presence of teenage years spent in fury, jealousy and repression. I remembered cold nights at Hogwarts, sealed in my dorm room, making sadistic plans to remove Harry Potter from his position of grace and crush him beneath my glory. I remembered being visited by the Dark Lord, his sinister smile as the burn took my arm from a forming Dark Mark. I remembered being ordered to kill Dumbledore...
Dear, sweet, annoying Dumbledore.
And I remembered the aching from never achieving my goal.
Harry screaming after me and Snape as we fled Hogwarts.
Quite comical were the incidents between us up until sixth year; bouncing ferrets and travelling the Forbidden Forest in the witching hour. But to look at Harry every day and recall how low and miserable I must have made him all during sixth year, from breaking his nose to being quite obvious that I was up to something. I was a scared little boy too afraid to ask for help, who took great lengths to appease Voldemort. And whatever the reasons for my actions, one couldn't deny that I must have been insane of mind to venture them.
I could of asked Dumbledore for help.
I could of crumbled there in that bathroom and let Harry help me.
Things could have been a lot different.
These thoughts too, kept me in the dungeons, stirring and mixing and brewing. These thoughts too, kept me in the dungeons, reading the books I asked of Stella to bring down to me. These thoughts too, kept me in the dungeons, punishing myself every time the regretful feelings came upon me in such a way I felt the need to either die or receive pain to account for the horrible things I had done.
I wasn't as fortunate as my father who was serving time in prison.
I knew I must make up for the terrible actions I had taken.
And, as I then began to see it, I was an ugly, snivelling little excuse for a wizard.
I cut myself. I starved myself. I tested potions on myself; some, I deliberately made bad just so they would cause me to vomit.
The scars on my legs were raised and tender against the fabric of my jeans by the first month I had been down in the laboratorium. My belly ached too. I knew it had been a month, however vaguely, by the bottled potions of Golden Fix that sat on a newly cleaned shelf on the left wall. If, at times, I woke from sleep and moved into the laboratorium to keep on brewing to take away the idle anger that coursed through me, the Golden Fix would glow so brightly gold, it lit my way down the hallway into the laboratorium.
My bedroom was a small room, carved from stone with a hard, uncomfortable mattress dressed in drab, itchy colours looking up revoltingly from a worryingly wonky four-poster base. I cooked up thoughts of my father, down here, in times of great need for solitude, suffering from the same desire to purge himself of his misdeeds as I. I liked to think that my dark side came from him; it made more sense. I doubted my mother had the same self-treachery as me, and the thought that she would take a knife to her skin made me feel ill.
Actually, the thought of my mother in any dangerous situation made me lurch with need to put myself in the line of fire to save her.
I missed her air-head self most of all.
Out of all the living Malfoy's, she was the only one that deserved to live.
Occasionally when I exhausted the interest in potions and magical creature liberation, I put myself out by thinking why no body now came to see me. Was I boring? Were they tired of me and my antagonising personality? Had they all left the Manor?
I really, honestly, did not care. I, of course, could leave the dungeons at any time and find out the answers to my questions.
But I was safe here; I was in control of the memories. No thoughts of Moaning Myrtles bathroom could hurt me and no recollection of kneeling in front of Voldemort could make my legs turn to jelly... without me doing something about it, to remind me that I was in the here and now.
And so delicious my routine became; wake up, usually with my face on a desk, pressed against journals that I had scribed notes of magical law or potions variations. Quick pee and wash hands; there was no real need to busy myself with vanity and occasionally I had to force myself into the small, dirty shower and rinse away a week or two of grime from my skin, or shave away a scratchy beard. Then, after that, I would take myself to the lab, where I would push myself for hours and hours, never taking much of a break, until my head hit the desk again and my eyes closed of there own accord.
As time went by, I realised that my new position below the world was very swell indeed. I liked the secrecy, and down here with an extensive catalogue of ingredients, I spent time brewing illegal potions and dangerous ones, just because I could. Nothing else existed outside my laboratorium; time, itself, was neither here nor there. I was not aware of a sunrise or sunset. I was not exposed to calendar days.
It didn't take me very long to begin loosing all sense of self, either. Punishment was now a daily routine; eating was a fierce battle between nausea and need, as two sides of nature warred. The candelabras dimmed considerably, unable to meet my lowering magical power. My once obsessive personal hygiene was thrown to the dogs... occasionally, I would wake up with the crack of a house elves disappearance and a stinging along my skin from a scourgify.
I was encouraged, however, to keep going. Admittedly, this came from the never ending sense that no matter how much I brewed, I just wouldn't have enough. I would not achieve enough. I suppose I thought then that if I carried on concocting brews, I would be safe from harm; as if, the only thing keeping me from ending up somewhere out of my control was to be controlled by the one thing I knew and could believe in. It seemed, apart from the Golden Trio, the only thing bringing my life before Forks and the life thereafter was potions.
And potions were coming very thickly between me and my everything I knew of social interaction and health. I knew this, because I felt bizarre; churning stomach at the thought of maybe, possibly, going upstairs for a nice long bath or visiting the kitchens to find warm cake and fine wine. I knew something was wrong because every time I thought of taking myself to the horrid, worn bed down the corridor, I stabbed my fingers with a pin to remind myself that this, the potions, were the only things that were important.
And I liked that I was going crazy for them. I loved that potions, although created to help people, were effectively coming between established friendships and the possibility of being that fucking reckless, happy teenager I so yearned to be.
The torture was explosive.
And who could blame me? I had been marked since birth to be the boy who walked the fine lines between good and bad, right and wrong, dark and light. Was it not my prerogative to go off the rails? Was it not fortunate that I knew what I was doing? I was in control, yes?
No body at all could take away the sense of importance that came with being down in those dungeons, quite happy, all alone.
Except myself of course. I drown lost in this world and come up, wanting escape, unable to achieve it because of my own deafening want for safety and calm.
One day, when I sat watching the bubbling liquids filling up every work station in the lab, echoing conversations between me and the rest of them upstairs flittered like thirst quenching aggravation before my minds eye.
'Well, I've found a lot about vampiric relations.' Hermione had said, coming into the room. She had a contented, drained feeling about her. This was all before they decided to leave me alone, about a week or so before nobody came for me.
'Oh?' I asked her, not interested one bit. Her small, slightly rounded body stood before me, a book in her small hands and a smile gracing her small face. I wanted to make it all go away... leave me to my potions, I thought. I humoured myself with memories of a bucktoothed, irritatingly smart, young girl.
'Very interesting stuff,' she hedged, 'a lot to consider.' Her voice was tempting.
I looked up, giving her seventy percent of my attention. She felt smug to me. 'Explain, please?' I asked.
'Well,' she started, standing in the middle of the room with a booky smell surrounding her, 'there's a lot fluff between the pages but I did find there was a treaty signed between a coven of vampires and wizards in 19AD.'
'And, pray tell,' I snarled, 'what did this treaty do?' I wondered why she was taking so long. I dropped my attention on her from seventy percent to fifty. Her interest in speaking spiked like a rocket into the air; the effect was irritating.
'It was for the control of vampiric relations between vampires and wizards, who were trying to further their horizons by utilising magic.'
'That isn't interesting, Hermione.' My attention dropped further, from fifty to thirty percent.
'It is when you think about how, as wizards, we see werewolves and vampires.'
'As creatures, not humans.' I said, uninterested totally now. My hand swatted the topic away and in the light from the glowing blue potion I was working over, the shadow cast looked like I was swatting her.
'Exactly... so that got me thinking,' her energy was becoming infectious, 'about why there isn't such a wealth of information on vampires whilst there is about werewolves. You see, our mentality about self-preservation as a society dominates our compassion; we stock up on information about werewolves because they look the same as we do. Vampires don't.'
'So you think that we reject vampires because of their image?' I asked her, like it was totally obvious already. Dumb fucker, I thought. Thinking back on it now, I was stupid to ever think of Hermione in such a way.
'It's likely. Aside from that, though; I think to learn more, we have to go and talk to vampires.'
'Hi Alice, how are you?' I asked sarcastically, turning to the place she normally sat, now devoid of her presence. I guessed she was with Harry, off doing couply things and assigning themselves to a life of hard grafting, prejudice inducing, infinity. Maybe she would drive Harry crazy like Jasper had done to me... he would be a great help, albeit an annoying one, down here in the dungeons.
'Magical vampires, Draco.' Hermione said, sharp and hard.
'Vampire's don't have magic, Hermione.' I grumbled.
'And humans don't have magic,' she said, eyebrows raised, 'except magical ones!'
I suddenly felt weird. 'Look, Hermione,' I condescended unashamedly, 'unless we have proof of this, it's highly unlikely that such things exist.' I stopped for a moment and thought back to the bathroom in Seattle, where I too came to the conclusion that it was impossible for potions to work on vampires without magic.
Maybe I had been thinking about vampires who had been turned from wizards?
'I said the same thing about Gog's Place.' She said, unloading a lot of frustration into her words. 'And you said we would just have to suffer figuring it out regardless.'
I huffed and added winklewart to my brew. 'The thing about that,' I started in a new vein of malice, 'is we can't really rely on anything at the moment. Remind me, why are we doing this?'
She looked at me like I was crazy... 'Draco,' she admonished as if I truly had lost the plot, 'you are doing this for Jasper.'
I hummed a great tune of discomfort. I didn't like that name used before me, without warning and without sensitivity. My face pinched in a grimace and I turned to the back bench on the far wall; my hands worked fast over some valerian root. '
'Well, I did read in this really old journal about a coven leader that squib vampires flocked too, because he could perform wanded magic.' She said. 'I kind of did just suggest that vampires could utilise magic, too.'
I felt impressed, 'So it's possible that a wizard may keep his magic after he has turned?' I wondered how much of this was curiosity for the possibility of me myself becoming full vampire.
As I thought about this again in the present, away from my nostalgia, my hands came from their stasis under my chin, where they held my bored head up, and coaxed my pin from under a piece of parchment.
I punctured a few holes into my fingertips.
The piercing pain drove the insane reminiscence from my mind. Here, alone in the dungeons, I stood and walked around checking the cauldrons and doing anything that was needed too.
'Fertility potion, you are coming along beautifully...' I said to the fiercely spitting liquid that illuminated my hands over it in pinks and purples.
I wondered, if at all, it would work against magical conception... Not for me of course! I yelled against my masochistic mentor in my head. For other people...
Although, the briefest flicker of bone breaking sex came to me from the part of my mind that controlled my sexual urges and I berated myself, thinking that the face of Jasper was only there because he was the only dangerous fuck I had ever had.
Not strictly true...
I quickly touched the heated metal of the cauldron and let my fingertips sizzle under the burn for two seconds. The face of an angry, badly treated, hard cocked and willing Death Eater broke into pieces under the flood of alarm bells going off in my head.
There... all better.
I will not subject myself to horrible wishes of Jasper again.
Or, so I told myself. Increasingly, as more days wove on through heady bouts of driven depression and fulfilling the natural desires I had from the outside world- the world before the dungeons- coursed unseeing through time and space, I had an itchy nerve to get out of the horrid place I was in.
I missed the fresh air.
I missed making people squirm.
And every time I moved to the stairway that would lead to the ground floor, my heart froze and I couldn't bear it.
I couldn't bear going back up there where I had to pretend to happy that one day Jasper might come back to me. I could not, would not, subject myself to the empty space between us, that came into vivid light upon seeing all those happy couples upstairs.
And yet, his hands on my skin and the scary look in his eyes made the nervousness feel like something I might akin myself too and take with me bravely to the top of the stairs.
But I was cunning, not brave. I had no guarantee of the results that would come from me going upstairs.
So I started ordering Stella for more books than necessary, on all kinds of topics. My favourite to read has always been and always would be magical law; the texts made me want to do something different than potions mastery.
Read and read I would. Sleep badly and yearn to do something, anything to rid myself of this cabin fever, because I knew that I was wasting away down here.
I needed adventure.
I needed anything.
I would do anything...
Thank you to all those who have enjoyed this story. Thank you to all those who reviewed. Thank you to all those who added this story to story alert and the like.
Thank you to ELI and MELLIEBOX.