TITLE: Success
AUTHOR: lmeden


SUMMARY: In which Draco is not a coward.
NOTE: I was suddenly feeling rather literary, an this is what happened. I might expand on it later, include Harry and Horcruxes and all that. Maybe.


He had succeeded.

But only in killing himself.

Draco stared at the dark mark engraved in his arm. Its coils of black ink seemed surreal and distant. It was so very Dark against his pale, pale flesh.

He remembered that terrible night, when he had met Dumbledore in the astronomy tower, and when he had not been a coward. He had hidden from and shirked his duty – to himself, his family, to the Dark Lord – all term. But on that dark and terrible night he had not been a coward. And when the Headmaster had told him how he believed in him, in Draco, and how he knew that Draco wanted something else from life – what that something else was, was so distant that Draco could not begin to imagine it in all of its winding and soul-wreaking glory – Draco had not listened. He had heard not a single word, but drawn his wand and hated, and killed Albus Dumbledore. Snape had been the one to take him from the school, though of course he could have done so alone. He had proven himself. He was no longer weak.

He remembered running, Snape grasping his wrist with a cruel grip. And Potter had run after them, screaming. And Potter's eyes, flaring bright green against the firelight. And the crush of apparition. And then they had been home, at the Manor, and Snape was speaking but Draco hadn't been able to make out a single word. And later he had walked up to his room – by this time, even dear Aunt Bella couldn't frighten him. He had nearly smiled at the frustrated and twisted look that he overtaken her face when she tried to ambush him on the stairs.

He looked back down at his arm, wondering dully how the Dark Mark had come to be there. He felt as if something was missing, he was missing something. Like life. He had most likely killed it, like he had Dumbledore.

He looked up at himself in the mirror. He saw a pale and bony face, small and sharp. He tried not to hate himself or love himself, but to only look. It was no use. As he stared at the ghost of a boy in the mirror he was forced to move, driven in a shambling run to the bathroom by his nausea.