AN: Set just before the war. Draco uses drugs to help cope with the fate that has been chosen for him.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

The Battle Within

Draco felt the familiar feeling of tension being released as his troubles slowly faded and felt so much less significant. It was like a drink of water after days being stranded in the desert, like going home after being lost in a strange and cruel place. The sensation had become his friend, his emancipation, his way to abscond from all the pain, hurt, and anger; all he knew.

He injected the drug into his forearm, letting thoughts of the upcoming war evanesce, forgetting the quandary that consumed his life. Draco was an intelligent boy: even he knew that his 'escape route' was not a solution to his problems, only a way to procrastinate. He was, alas, stalling for time, putting off the day when he'd have to face his fate, confront his fears. A day that Draco knew would, inevitably, come. He'd resorted to the Muggle drugs when he realized that he never had a choice; he was the Dark Lord's puppet.

Draco's conscience told him to kick the habit, there and then. He had the will-power to stop. He was addicted to the feeling the drugs let him experience, not the drug itself. But what motivation did he have? What use was he to anyone, clean? He knew what he was doing was only effective for immediate gratification, and, in the long run, only doing harm, but still he continued to engage in his habit, savouring the moment… it would be a while before he had access to another fix.

Any passing student at Hogwarts would think Draco was absolutely blank and carefree, but there was a mêlée of morals going on in his mind, a devil on his shoulder, demons interfering with his decision-making. The battle within: choices that weren't Draco's to make.

Once a cunning, witty aristocrat, now broken and a failure. Nothing more than a tool. This was the path his parents had chosen, and the one that he had to follow.

The battle soon grayed out, losing exigency with every passing moment as the opioid spread through his veins. And Draco knew in his heart that his demons had won.

AN: In case you were wondering, Draco's drug of choice here is Heroin. Thank you for reading.