Title: For the First time
Genre: Romance, Angst, Fanon.
Warnings: Time-Traveling fiction.
Disclaimer: Property of JK Rowling. Quotes from the book may be repeated in here since time is turning.
Author's note: This story has given me headaches all over the place.
EDITED IN MORE WAYS THAN JUST GRAMMATICALLY
Part I: Fourth Year
'What do you wish for, Draco?'
'I don't wish for anything.'
'Okay. Suppose I do have a wish, what good would wishing do for me?'
'You'd be surprised. Ancient magic has methods that can make every person's dream come true. Even the most precarious ones.'
'And you would know because...?'
Alice had just smiled secretively.
Later that evening, a crackle of energy enamored his whole body and he found himself falling into the sucking hole beneath him.
"Alice!" Draco tried to call, reaching out for the woman, but Alice didn't help. She just looked down at him with a warm smile, stepping back, out of his reach. Shadows and blue cheap lights glinted, highlighting her kind smile that looked almost like a grimace in the dark and all Draco could do was freeze in time, one hand reaching out for thin air and his body falling under a weighted gravity and into the gaping hole on the ground.
'Sweet dreams, Draco.' his assailant said and the wind blew.
Draco's wide eyes watched as the figure disappeared and suddenly, he was spinning into darkness.
'Should've held my ground
I could've been redeemed
For every second chance
That changed its mind on me'
the mess I made, parachute
That was perhaps, his very first guess of the situation when he opened his eyes and saw what was in front of him. It was a new yet familiar sight and it was the familiar sight that made him feel so out of his element (ignoring for the moment, that he really was out of his element)
His body felt weird and tingly, as if it was not even there; as if he was not in his body at all; as if the world had spun him around and tripped him to a new dimension.
A dimension where he relived familiar visions.
Taking into account what happened earlier with Alice, Draco wasn't sure about the 'as if' anymore. He was pretty sure that witch had done something to him.
"D-...-co?" the voice came from a girl Draco had known about half his life. But the thin, pretty girl that sat next to him was not the same Pansy he knew from his time. She was young, eyes black and innocent in a way. There was nothing innocent about Pansy Parkinson when she was young or old. But still, the innocence of her young age reflected things beneath her eyes that he might not have been able to see unless-
He had dreams before but, they had never been as vivid as this at all. He sat gaping at Pansy, who looked so concerned for him. Beside her sat other concerned looking individuals. Individuals who were just as young as her, just as innocent. Just like her, they were Slytherins; Slytherins he used to know. They were clever, cunning and selfish. There should be nothing innocent about their gaze, but he felt it in their eyes as they looked in his direction.
He could feel their voices reverberating under his skull, see their mouths moving as they murmured amongst each other, but he couldn't decipher what they were saying. Were they talking to him?
He turned his head round and the scenery around him was a quick blur of colors and tables and chatters and candles.
Shock coursed through his neck where a lump took place as he swallowed.
The sight before him was a dream. He told himself. Isn't this how it felt to be dreaming? His ears were deaf to sound, he hadn't spoken a word yet and wasn't sure if he would be able to, and his whole body felt paralysed. This had to be just a dream. He never had dreams anymore or he didn't remember them any longer. Too much of reality was mixed with unconscious for him nowadays so, who could keep a track of where and when?
And yet, he consciously remembered Alice as he fell down a hole on the ground that came out of nowhere. He had never been more sober when he had met her that day. Not a drop of wine or whiskey. What was it? He suspected from the beginning that Alice was a strange person in every right, but he was reassured by her obvious affections for him; she wasn't going to hurt him. But then, she unexpectedly cast some long and complex spell which Draco had never heard of before.
And he had thought in dismay that maybe, he was wrong. Maybe, whatever Alice did was a trap. Maybe, she did hate him for being a former-Death Eater like everyone else and was planning this from the beginning.
So, he had closed his eyes and opened them in despair, hoping that at least, his death wouldn't be gruesome. And there lay the Great Hall of Hogwarts itself. Shining and blooming with energy and noise. This was Hogwarts in the past when he was still a student.
What if she put him under a dream spell? Could she do that? He wondered.
What was this feeling under his skin like he may be out of his own body, but his essence was as solid as metal inside?
A voice was flailing to get noticed in his head, but after a while, it was no longer bothering him. The numbness in his ear vanished and suddenly, he could hear the chatter clearly.
He could HEAR them.
"Draco? Draco? What's wrong?"
He looked to Queenie, Blaise, Marcus, Pansy, Crabbe, and Goyle respectively. And instead of answering, he looked round again and this time-
And this time, he saw the Headmaster he had been ordered to kill in his sixth year and the Professor who had done his deed for him. He expected the scenery to change then; for Aunt Bella to walk on top of the staff table and hex everything to bits and pieces. That was usually the sequence in which his nightmares went.
But nothing happened.
Snape looked just as shrewd, cold, and calculating as ever. The same could be said about Hogwart's Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, who was smiling in a pleased sort of way, eyes lighting up in amusement and looking healthy and safe. Safe from Draco's clutches, safe from the Death Eaters and safe from falling off an Astronomy tower.
He watched the spectacle for a moment with wide eyes, trying to process it all and feed it into his brain, but it was all too much. His eyes blurred as tears pierced his eyes; making the guess that he was dreaming even more impossible. And the insistent jerking of his shoulders as somebody shook him roughly was felt with painful clarity. All the more so as he parted his lips, realising dreadfully that he might be able to talk.
No. No. No.
'What is your wish, Draco?'
"Pans, calm down."
"I can't calm down. Look at him!"
'I can tell, you know. What you realy want.'
"She's right, Blaise. He looks like he can't even hear us."
'People who drink too much have certain feelings they want to drown.'
'The feelings you want to drown are not grief though.'
"Boss, what's wrong?
'It's regret, isn't it?'
'Answer me, Draco.'
"DRACO!" Pansy's loud cry could be heard echoing through the walls as everyone abruptly went silent and looked in their direction curiously.
At the center of it all, Draco Malfoy sat, finally out of his stupor with a terrible look on his face.
"Draco?" Queenie and Pansy were standing, regarding him attentively.
Flustered and not knowing what to do with himself, Draco bowed his head and raked a hand through his hair (they were shorter than he remembered)
"Sorry." he said, flinching at the sound of his own voice. It was less low than he was used to.
"Are you okay?"
"Fine." He said, shaking his head. He looked up at Pansy who had her eyebrows knitted in worry as she reached out to touch him.
Her hand on his shoulder was as real as the wood of his House table as he put his hands on it to brace himself.
"I'm okay." He assured her breathlessly, turning to his other friends who stood around him. "I'm alright. I'm sorry for that. It was- I just had a moment. It's okay now, Pansy." He told her as she was the one with the most doubt. He held her wrist lightly before pulling her down to sit gently beside him. "I'm okay." He told her with a smile.
She stared at him dumb-founded before nodding as she gazed around at the people she'd alerted before. Some of them looked away from the scene, but some were still watching.
"You don't need to go to the infirmary, do you?" Blaise patted his back as he sat down too, followed by others.
Draco laughed to assure them, finding everything about it strange and out-of-it. "I'm not sick, you know."
"Yeah, Pansy just overreacted." Blaise commented. Pansy looked a little offended at that and crossed her arms, but Draco was grateful.
"He looked weird, okay? I was worried." She said in her defense.
He held her hand gently. "Thank you for worrying." he said with a cheeky smile. She rolled her eyes, jerking her hand away. She looked around, conscious now of the people still looking their way and audibly groaned as she covered her face in embarrassment.
She mumbled something under her breath and turned her head away from their prying eyes.
They smiled and laughed and slowly, everybody's eyes went away from the scene.
Pansy just overreacted. They all assumed and left it that.
"Ladies and Gentleman." was the loud voice going through the walls of Hogwarts' Great Hall. Headmaster Dumbledore stood before them, looking at everyone with an air of authority and Draco recalled such a scene as this in his fourth year. It was the welcoming ceremony, right before the old coot introduced Beauxbatons' and Durmstrang's special, chosen students and their master. All ready for the Triwizard tournament. A tournament in which Potter had unwittingly participated.
He blinked, automatically turning to look and found Potter's familiar profile by the Gryffindor table. He never would have thought he would be able to see Potter at all - not in live flesh and the scene of him laughing and chatting along with his friends made something tighten his chest. The feeling was so real; Potter was so real that he gasped.
Pansy snorted beside him. "Still want to claim it's nothing?" a touch of concern shone through the side-long look she ventured on him. He looked away just as she did. He remembered now why he had initiated their relationship despite his lack of interest and attraction towards her. She actually liked him. Not Potter, not any other bloody boy but Draco. She had chosen him over Zabini's obvious inclinations toward her and it had been satisfying. The subtle love she poured in him filled him with warmth and self-serving happiness. He had never known love as closely in depth than with Pansy who was certainly a cold and nasty girl but, better than an uncaring mother or a father whose only concern was power.
"Tell me, Is it any of your business?" Draco asked with low-hooded eyes, voice low and cold. She turned and gave him a shocked look, as if she had been struck and Draco sympathized. After all, it was not as if it was her fault he was treating her coldly, but it would be better to slow her inclinations toward him before they could grow and she would become filthy from the future rejection he would likely slap on her before the fifth year ended.
While the minutes passed as her eyes skimmed his face and stared into his grey eyes intensely, searching for an answer to her unspoken question, the Headmaster had finished talking and the doors were opening, letting in a figure in a black cloak. Remembering immediately for who it was, Draco felt a nauseous feeling in the back of his stomach. Of course.
It was fourth year so it shouldn't be a surprise to him all, but somehow, it was. He felt terrified out of his mind.
There stood Barty Crouch Jr. in the disguise of an ex-Auror, Mad-Eye Moody - looking as mad and alarmingly dangeous as the last time Draco saw him. For a moment, Draco thought- hoped he was hallucinating; imagining the grey hair, the familiar way his entrance shook a thunder in the ceiling and how every student went still and quiet at the entrance of the mad man. Draco felt cold sweat prick at his back as he watched the limping man walk up to the front.
They were all unaware. Even the Headmaster. They didn't know of the danger lurking beneath that disguise.
Because he realized with a start, that he was from the future and this was his past repeating right in front of him.
Draco wanted to suddenly jump off his seat and point an accusing finger at the Death Eater, to tell the people unaware around him that this was a fake but, somehow logic made it past his frozen brain and his inner self shook as he unhelpfully watched the disfigured eyes, the scarred face, and the frown that was stitched on his face like it was practiced.
Nobody would believe him, not even Dumbledore. They would just look at him as if he were crazy and then, when Draco would be alone, defenseless-
Draco was suddenly, very desparately searching for his wand and found it in his pocket. The very wand that he lost to Potter back in the manor. The memory chafed at his heart as he clutched his wand briefly in his fist for assurance before sliding his hand out. He watched as the man acting as Mad-Eye Moody hexed at the ceiling to stop the lightening.
The silence suffocated Draco as he looked at the various expressions on other students' face; awe, confusion, curiousity all wound up there.
Soon they would all be admiring the man's method of teaching and how unprofessionally he handled some situations (One of them Draco remembered quite clearly in his many memories of humiliation. He didn't miss the irony that he was the one being tortured and taunted by a Death Eater when he had warned Hermoine Granger of the same fate that night at the World Cup Quidditch.)
Then, Moody walked over to Dumbledore and shook his hands, looking as if he didn't hate the enemy of his beloved Master. Of course, he wouldn't. Exceptional acting skills, if he so thought himself. Nobody would ever suspect the man to be anything close to a Death Eater, the Dark Lord's servant. No, they wouldn't know. Not even the Headmaster could know. It was a talent he rather hated.
Malfoy couldn't tell what they said to each other, but found that he didn't care much either way. He was too busy being horrified at the latest turn of events. This was fourth year. He could change things. You-Know-Who wasn't back yet. Potter was safe and happy for once, without war wounds and Hogwarts was normal. Normally cheery. The truth battled with the image in front of him and he couldn't stomach the thought at all.
"May I introduce our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?" the silence was torn by the Headmaster's words. He was looking far too comfortable standing in the Great Hall, considering there was a Death Eater in his beloved school. Considering the Dark Lord would be returning near the end of the fourth year, during the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
Speaking of the Tri-Wizard tournament...
After Dumbledore had their attention, he introduced Moody. Everyone looked amongst themselves doubtfully as they knew of Mad-Eye Moody's reputation and weren't sure he could teach them. But just then, Dumbledore announced about the tournament, distracting them from their doubts and worries. An excited, anticipatory, nervous energy buzzed the Great Hall, all of them seeming to forget about Mad-Eye Moody and his very disturbing appearance at the Great Hall. He saw Potter grinning while the Weaseley twins laughed and hollered about how they were going to be the champions.
Too bad for them, Malfoy snorted as Dumbledore started to tell them of the age restrictions.
Ah, but the only exception had been Potter. People had thought he had cheated, even his own friends but, the truth was known later to Draco when the Dark Lord returned and his father told him of what Voldemort had planned to do and how it was all Crouch Jr.'s doing. It was such an utterly wretched and untrusting world Draco lived in.
Everywhere, people wore masks.
Nobody in Slytherin would tell that they were scared of the Dark Arts but truth was, half of them didn't want to be in any part of it. Some of them acted like they belonged here, but they had doubts over it as well as any other student of any House. Draco would know. He was their self-appointed leader. He knew hesitation, could smell it from a long inch. That's why, so many times before, he always knew where to hit where it hurt most. With friends and enemies, it was all the same for him. Before.
Now, he had no idea where to stand. He knew what Draco Malfoy in the fourth year stood for but, not what Draco Malfoy of the future stood for. He eyed Potter in the crowd again; who was watching as the Goblet of Fire was revealed and the Tri-Wizard trophy was shown next. His eyes were twinkling, not like the Headmaster's, but in a more Harry Potter way. He could tell Potter wanted to participate in the tournament; could see it in his eyes as he day-dreamed of fame, glory and victory.
Draco snorted under his breath. Potter was such a brat.
And he would get his day-dream. All of it forced into him without Potter even knowing how and why it happened. If things went the way they did, Draco supposed people would blame Potter, accuse him, and he would lose his best friend for a short amount of time in a misunderstanding. And then, he would get help from Cedric Diggory, his other rival and do his First Task with his new broom, Firebolt.
He knew all about it because, he had always been watching Harry Potter.
That night, he dreamt. Uneasy and uncomfortable as he was in this new yet, familiar environment, Draco slept easily and dreamt- not of nightmares, but of a worrisome subject that laid its mark on him even in his unconscious.
'Did you like my gift?' Alice asked him as they walked.
Draco stopped walking. 'Why?
'Why did you do this? I never asked you. He wasn't willing to speak.
'Because you wished for it.'
'Leave me alone.'
'I can't.' Alice answered, looking at the side of Draco's face with what Draco knew was an intense look of want.
'You don't know what you did.' Draco said, shaking his head.
'I know what I did.' she didn't seem to be sorry. She clearly believed she was doing the right thing. Draco didn't.
'Al, I can't save them.' he said with a sigh, showing defeat like it was.
'Save who?' she looked baffled. Suddenly, her face changed to Potter's and he was looking disdainful, a perfect picture of defiance. 'This is for you. Not me or anyone. You can't save anyone. It's inevitable and you're-' Potter's face morphed into a new face. The face belonged to Professor Snape who looked in contempt at him, frowning as he finished what Potter had been about to say: '-Useless.'
He jolted awake, then.
It was still dark out and the wind was cold as he slid out of the blankets tucked over him, shivering. He looked at the occupants of his room, still sleeping and he rubbed his arms where goosebumps stuck on his skin.
The word echoed in his head as he sat silently at his bed, stiff and frozen for a long time.
When he snapped out of his stupor, his eyes narrowed in the darkness and he decided then and there that he was going to prove Dream-Snape wrong. He wasn't going to be useless.
Draco gave a frustrated huff of breath and fell back into the back, looking up at the dark ceiling and staring at it aimlessly.