Disclaimer: All characters of Harry Potter belong to J.K. Rowling

Author's Note: So this idea came to me a while ago and its been bugging me and bugging me and I finally had to write it. I've some ideas for making it a full length story, with this as a prologue, but I'm not sure if I should. Please let me know what you think.

While You Were Screaming

My life has been a culmination of events leading up to where I am right now. My parents molded and shaped me into what they wanted a child of theirs to be, spouting lectures about blood purity and how we were always better than them because we could trace our inbred family tree back generations. I was taught that I was better than everyone else because of my family's status. Our blood held us above the others, and our material wealth took us a step above that. Merely being a Malfoy meant that I was held up to a higher standard than anyone else. The perfect pureblood.

My father beat me so many times just because he thought I didn't try hard enough, or wasn't good enough at something I tried. I wanted to tell him that no person could be good at everything, but of course I never said a word. I can remember being young and asking my father why we were so much better than the muggles, or the muggle-borns. The muggle-borns could still use magic anyway, so why were they so different? He'd of course narrowed that icy look on me and told me that they were polluted, that they weren't meant for magic. He said their blood was dirty, filthy, and he'd better not hear me speak of it again.

My parents indoctrination into their ways was just that. They spoke of it so many times I started to believe it, started to believe I was better than everyone else. I know it wasn't all my parents. I wanted to believe that I was special, that I was better than all the other wizards out there. My family was pure and uncontaminated by the filth that walked the streets. So I never tried to think differently.

So why, if I was better than them, were they always better than me?

I hated Potter for snubbing me in first year. I tried to be friends with him, but he'd already chosen his place in mighty Gryffindor. My first Quidditch game against him, he won. Even though I'd been on a broom before he'd even known they existed, he still beat me. I hated him for that most of all. Despite his half-blood status, he was better than me. Better than a Malfoy when I'd been told all my life how much better I was.

And Weasley. I hated him. I hated him for being a filthy, nasty blood traitor. Most of all I hated him for having a family that loved him, despite how dirt poor they were. Every year I could see him walking around in those hideous sweaters his mother knitted him for Christmas, and no matter how hideous they were, he still wore them because his mother made it for him. She'd spent the time to actually make him something. The presents I'd gotten every year were so much better but they were picked out for no other reason that they were popular that year, or something my parents wanted me to have.

Most of all I hated her. I hated that no matter how hard I tried in any subject she always did better than me. She perfected spells faster than I did, she made more OWLS than I could ever hope to get. She got eleven bloody OWLS in fifth year for Merlin's sake. I felt the blunt end of my father's cane on more than one occasion because of her. The filthy mud blood, lower even than the filthy blood traitor Weasleys. But she was smarter than me. I eventually realized that no matter how hard I studied, how hard I tried, she would always get better marks than me. Even in Snape's classes, no matter how much he hated her, she still got better marks than me. Snape favored the Slytherins and she still did better than me, even went so far as to whisper instructions in Longbottom's ear to tell him how to fix his potions.

But now looking at her as Bellatrix performed the Cruciatas curse on her over and over, listening to her screams, I realized something. I was wrong. I really wasn't any better than her. As a small rivulet of blood ran out of her nose, I noticed that it wasn't dirty or filthy. It was the same shade as mine. The last of my prejudice towards her melted away as I noticed how wrong my parents were, how wrong I had been. I knew before that Voldemort's crusade was pointless and I didn't have a place in it. That had become glaringly obvious when I couldn't kill Dumbledore even though he looked as if he were already one step away from death.

Another of Hermione's screams rent the air. No matter the pain she was in, she wouldn't talk. I'd had a few Crucios myself, but nothing like what was being performed on her. My aunt always took certain pleasure in torture, and I knew she was well versed in it. I hadn't wanted them to know it was her, but there wasn't anything I could do to stop them. They'd seen her picture enough.

She still wouldn't tell Bellatrix anything she wanted to know. I could ask myself if my friends would do the same for me, but I knew the answer would be a resounding NO. I don't even know what it would feel like to feel that kind of loyalty towards someone. I loved my parents, that was why I took on the task of killing Dumbledore in the first place, so my parents would no longer be in disgrace. I could barely fathom the amount of loyalty it would take to stand up to Bellatrix the way she was.

I could hear Weasley screaming for her, but I couldn't pay attention to anything but the sound of her screams. She was so smart, so loyal, and even though I'd always hated her I knew all along that she was beautiful. I'd noticed sometime around the Yule ball just how beautiful she was. I'd been slightly obsessed with her since then and I'd always told myself that it was nothing more than hatred. I could admit to myself now that I'd always been attracted her to, that I found all the Gryffindor traits that I hated in everyone else, completely beautiful in her. No one had ever stood up to me the way she did. It never got to her that I called her a mud blood, not beyond the first time I did. Despite all the taunts about her hair, it'd never stopped the excruciatingly vivid wet dreams that plagued me, with my hands all wrapped up in her curls. I'd chalked it up to hatred and teenage hormones and pushed them to the back of my mind. Now I could admit to myself that I was obsessed with her, not because of hatred, but because of attraction.

But it was right now, listening to the sounds of her screams, that I realized that I love her. For her brilliance and her beauty, her stupid Gryffindor loyalty and bravery that got her into this mess to begin with. I love her. And there is nothing I can do to save her.

A.N.: Please let me know what you think, and if I should turn this into a full length.