This story was written for raspberry-rave (see prompt below) in the DG Forum's 2009 Fic Exchange.


Solitude

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8 June 1998

I turn to face myself, incomplete, seeing only the scattered remnants of a child. Memories come back to haunt me with a singular clarity of what once was and will never be again. I know now that there is no going back. There will be no last stand.

This is what it means to be broken...

.

He took in a deep breath and sighed, setting down both book and quill on the dusty bedside cabinet. The iron-sprung bed creaked as he moved and he stared intently at the stains that the ink had made on his fingertips, imagining it as a type of cancer, swelling and spreading, slowly breaking down his body until there was nothing left but bone.

He had spent the last month alone in this dark, dank, flea-infested rat-hole, and it was only a matter of time before he succumbed to cabin fever. He didn't necessarily mind the seclusion, as he had spent most of his childhood in solitude, surrounded by strangers. His self-imposed isolation was a matter of survival in his House. To open up oneself to another was to invite treachery and breed mistrust. His ability to distance himself from others had served him well in the past; however, when his alienation became enforced on a physical and not just a mental level, his instinct was to bolt—to panic like a caged animal.

Draco Malfoy had become a prisoner of war.

Like thieves in the night the Order had come into his home, shackled and dragged him to his current abode of incarceration: a dingy hovel in Godric's Hollow. He had resisted the urge to curse and struggle against his captors. It would have been to no avail. They had arrested his parents the day before. If his father could not stop them, how could he expect himself to? He had no power.

So in abject silence, Draco had submitted. He had simply surrendered. Gone was the fire, absent was the hate. He felt hollow inside. Life no longer had any colour to it. It was all just various shades of grey.

He turned towards the small window beside his bed and tentatively reached out to touch the glass, watching as his fingers made prints with the condensation. Outside, the white fog was hanging thick and damp in the air, accentuating the seasonally abnormal cold. Taking in a deep breath, Draco removed his fingers and glanced down at his hand. He turned it over, noting the lines of dirt that had begun to form between the creases of his knuckles and underneath the nails.

He could measure the span of his life in the soft lines that indented his palms. Time, however, was no longer relevant to him. This day or that day had no value placed upon it, no importance. The only reason he knew to date his journal was because of the perennial sensation he felt not some three days past. His birthday had come and gone like the rising and setting of the sun: noticed but rarely appreciated.

He absently wondered if he had aged at all in these last few weeks. He reached up to touch his face, searching for lines on his smooth alabaster skin. Suddenly a black crow cawed outside, startling him from his ruminations. He lowered his hand and frowned. After a brief moment the crowing subsided and he was once again left to the quiet. They say silence has a way of becoming deafening if endured for too long. Deprived of human contact for little over a month, Draco had discovered that he had been living the life of a deaf man.

Lying back down on the bed, Draco stared up at the ceiling. He had no idea what time it was. It was hard to tell on grey days like these. He could only guess at generalities of morning, afternoon, evening, or night. He assumed that it was close to midday as his stomach was flipping somersaults in anticipation of food.

Grimacing at his own predictable nature, Draco put a hand to his stomach. He was Pavlov's dog in practice, and he wondered how he had been able to stomach it for so long or why he even had an appetite. He had attempted, in vain, to starve himself—refusing to eat for the first three days. However, hunger and desperation finally reared their ugly heads and he gave in. Appetite and apathy took over, and he found no reason or cause for starving himself. What statement had he to make?

Right on cue, the makeshift tray door opened and a plate of food was hastily shoved inside his tiny cell. Just as quickly, the door snapped shut and Draco eyed the shapeless mass of 'sustenance' with a sense of hunger and revulsion before turning away. He laced his fingers behind his head and resumed his staring competition with the ceiling. Whoever his jailer was Draco would not give him the satisfaction of watching him scurry to the floor like some ravenous dog. Broken and disillusioned as he might have believed himself to be, he still had his self-respect.

He glanced over at the modest bookshelf at the wall near the end of the bed. There were only a few books on the shelf, including the journal he had begun to record his thoughts in. The journal itself had a worn leather cover with its spine broken in. After skimming the first few pages, he had noted, rather oddly, that there was no writing inside. Much like his life, it was unused and discarded, so he had decided to claim the diary as his own; to maintain his sanity.

They say that the body can't survive without the mind, but how long does it take to break a man? It had only been a month, but to Draco it had begun to feel like an eternity. Belligerent insanity was almost inevitable.

Scowling, Draco scanned the rest of his prison cell; there was a desk, chair, tiny wardrobe and small dresser, mirror, and sink and toilet. The room itself was dirty, cramped, and reeked of a notably pungent odour that he, unfortunately, had become accustomed to. They had left him no means of entertainment: no music, no wand, no nothing.

What few books were there he had already read several times over. Most of them were old second-hand textbooks from school; however, there were a few Muggle books: Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and Crime and Punishment. After a week, he broke down and read the latter. It wasn't too bad, for a Muggle book. The first two books were romance novels, not really his cup of tea. He leafed through a few pages and found that he wasn't quite bored enough to begin reading them—perhaps in another month. Perhaps if his genitalia shrivelled up and turned inwards, then maybe he'd develop a predilection for that sort of genre.

He glanced over at the food and tried to mentally retrieve the tray. Of course he could not use any magic in this personal prison of his. Potter still had his wand, and Draco found that he could not even perform the most mundane non-verbal spells. There was a great interlocking web of wards placed on his cell and even the grounds outside his residence of incarceration. The woven complexity of the barrier spells were beyond him and without a wand he could not even begin to fathom a way to undo or counter them.

His mind wandered briefly to the image of his wand, and he thought back to the battle at Hogwarts. He mentally castigated himself on his ineptitude for both losing his wand and not capturing Potter himself when he had the chance. In the end, he supposed his conscience had given way in some form, allowing the scar-faced boy to have the upper hand.

He shook his head and scowled. He did not like to think back to his seventh year. It was easier to force it to the back of his mind, repressing the memories that still shadowed his soul. The past was unimportant; what mattered was the present. Would he fit into this new order, this new regime? He doubted it. He and his family had backed the wrong horse. They were pariahs now; denizens without homes.

So what did the future hold in store for him? Would he be sent to Azkaban with his father, incarcerated with the rest of the Death Eaters and fellow miscreants, or would he be set free? Yet again, he didn't appear to care.

In this moment all Draco sought was respite from the bitter and lonely isolation. He had survived much worse than this, but he had been a stronger man then; he'd had hope. Now the pergolas of his impenetrable tower walls had come crashing down around him, leaving a wake of carnage and desolation in its path. What survived the wreckage to crawl out of the debris was an empty shell of a boy who, above all else, longed only for a reprieve from the solitude.


Robyn's (raspberry-rave's) prompt

Basic outline: A Stockholm Syndrome type fic where one of the pair is kidnapped/held hostage by the other but ends up falling for him/her. It's up to the writer who is kidnapped by whom. I want to see development more than anything.
Must haves: Must feature this snippet:
"Do you hate me?"
"Yes."
"Already? Liar."
Bonus points for unconventional use, Post-Hogwarts, Romance/Drama (heavy on the drama), possessive!Draco.
No-no's: Excessive fluff, non-con, Ginny swearing excessively.
Rating range: T-M
Bonus points: A drastic physical change.


Books

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Crime and Punishment by Fydor Dostoyevsky