Title: In The Fight For... For What?
Rating: K+ - T
Disclaimer: Does anybody actually need an explanation on these still? If I were JKR I would hardly be on here... if I were making money with my writings I probably wouldn't be either... get it? I'm just playing with these folks, unfortunately I've to give them back – though I can make no guarantees on their physical or mental states after they are returned! Complaints should be directed to 45 Cloud Street in Heaven, 986532 Paradise
Warning: some mention of violence
Maybe his father had been right to call him weak and a failure.
After all what did he have to show for himself. Here he was locked in a bathroom of all places and of his own free will too. He'd originally spent some time staring at his own reflection until he'd got disgusted with it. Sneering at himself, how idiotic. He'd got so angry, he'd started flinging curses at the wall. His intention had not been to destroy, merely to vent his anger. But as he watched the tiles crack, break and crumble on the floor the destruction had egged him on.
Like a drug he had craved more. He'd turned on the cubicles until they were nothing more than a pile of rubble, then he'd turned to the sinks and mirrors. Now there was nothing left intact. Yet he still hadn't felt any better so in his rage he had physically lashed out at everything around him. Kicking at chipped tiles and cracked wood, not caring when it hurt his feet. Then he'd used his fists to attack the wall. His most stupid action yet, he figured. The pain had been excruciating, only topped by the Cruciatus itself.
His hands were bloodied from it and still hurting but he had stopped noticing it. Having drained his energy, he had sank down against the wall. His knees were drawn to his chest, his head hung low covered with his arms. He had started sobbing some time ago and if he had had any strength left he'd be cursing himself for it. There was no considering what his father would do if he knew. It simply didn't bare thinking about.
Yet as angry, frustrated and disappointed as he was with himself for his behaviour, he couldn't stop it. For years he'd been hiding his emotions, in fact all his life he'd had to have a mask on his face. A mask that would not betray his true feelings, a mask that showed him as superior and in control at all times, no matter what. Well now his mask had crumbled most effectively.
He was so lost in himself that he had not heard the faint mumbled of an "alohomora" from the other side of the door. He did not hear the exclamation of "oh shit" when the other person saw the state of the room. But he did feel the warmth of someone else sitting down beside him and wrapping him in their arms. He froze, unmoving he snapped back to reality and heard the mutterings of "shh it's ok, you're fine, you're safe now..." on and on it went. The voice was oddly familiar, yet too quiet for him to actually recognise.
He wanted to move, to run away and hide. He couldn't let anyone see him like this. His reputation would be damaged forever. His muscles were pulled taught and he thought they would snap any second if he didn't move. But he simply had no strength left and there were soothing hands running up and down his back. It scared him how comforting it felt. He couldn't remember anyone ever holding him, soothing him, comforting him...
Without being able to do anything about it he felt his body relax and as he did the other person seemed to notice as he was pulled tighter against their strong chest. Between the comforting mumblings he recognised a spell and tensed until he realised it was a healing charm. Its effects were immediate as he felt his hands stop throbbing painfully. For a moment he was outraged, how dare they! He'd been relying on that pain to distract him! Then he realised that without noticing it he had stopped sobbing.
He was so confused, he stayed still for a few long minutes. The comforting mumblings never stopped and he found himself unexpectedly drawing strength from them. At long last he carefully disentangled himself from their arms as well as his own. When he straightened up and turned to look at who had found him he froze in shock. "You!"
"Malfoy?" The response was immediate and full of surprise. Obviously the great Harry Potter hadn't know who he was comforting.
"Do you have some sort of hero radar for people that don't actually need your help?" He asked as scathingly as he could but his voice was hoarse from crying and shouting.
His question was ignored and instead he was given one of his own. "What happened?"
He snorted. "Like I'd tell you!"
"You've already lost your pride sometime ago, somewhere between all the rubble." The voice was neither harsh nor pitying, but rather matter of fact with maybe a hint of curiosity. "I'm not here to judge, I'm here to help. I heard shouting and what sounded like a magical fight."
He snorted again and turned his head away. Bloody Gryffindors.
"How about you just pretend for 5 minutes I'm just another Slytherin, Draco?"
He looked up at the sound of his first name. They NEVER used their first names.
"Now tell me what happened? Were you attacked?"
He looked down and shook his head.
"So this was your doing?" Did he really sound astounded?
"Yes." There was no emotion in his voice this time. Was his mask finally coming back?
"Impressive work, although utterly silly of course. Were you trying to vent some anger?"
"I've never known you to be so quiet. Just tell me alright? I won't rat you out."
Rubbing a hand over his face he sighed. Then he looked at the back of his hand realising that the skin was fully healed and the blood was gone. "Thanks," he muttered grudgingly. He should learn some healing spells he decided, just in case.
"You're welcome. If you're hurt anywhere else, just say."
He froze again, realising that he had just thanked Harry Potter of all people. And instead of a smart come back he'd actually been polite and offered further assistance if needed. What was happening?
To distract himself, he took a long look around the room, taking in the destruction he'd caused.
"Must have been one hell of a bad day for you." Potter commented with a chuckle.
"You've no idea." He replied without thinking.
"Why don't you tell me? Trust me, it helps." Potter was so calm and actually smiling encouragingly at him.
He shook his head to clear it. Then looking at the room again he sighed to himself, "How am I ever gonna fix this!"
There was another chuckle then he saw a wand being drawn and straight away he was making for his own. Only it wasn't where it should be. He checked all his pockets to no avail. It took him another few moments to realise he had not been hit with any spell. Instead the room was slowly being repaired to it's original state. He watched with growing admiration as tiles fixed themselves before finding their place on the wall, sinks and mirrors were mended and levitated to the wall and the cubicle stands were erecting themselves again. They both had to move a little to allow the wall behind them to be repaired.
"How'd you do that?" He asked, trying to cover how impressed he was.
"Magic." Was his answer accompanied with a shrug and a grin. He was about to turn away in annoyance when he noticed Potter holding two wands. One of them held out towards him. "I believe this is yours."
He looked in Potter's eyes trying to find a sign of deceit but there was none. He took his wand, surprised to find Potter putting his own back into his robe.
"You won't hex me. Not if you don't want me to go talking."
He was annoyed with himself for having been so transparent and angry at Potter for such a sly comment. It was far too Slytherin of him.
"Now I suggest you find someone to talk to. I'm here to listen but as you're rather reluctant at least go and find one of your friends to talk to."
"I have no one." He replied before he could stop himself.
"But... you're always surrounded by people." Potter noted with confusion.
"People not friends." Why he was volunteering information, he couldn't tell.
"Your parents?" a careful question.
"Part of the problem."
"No teacher then... but there must be someone you trust?"
"Myself... until today that was."
He felt Potter's hand on his back, once again trying to comfort him. He wanted to shake it off but couldn't bring himself to do it. Instead he pulled his legs up again and rested his head on his knees once more.
"My so called friends would leave the moment I stop being useful. They would rat me out if it brought them favour. I have no one. Not even myself anymore. Not after what just happened."
"What did happen?" A gentle, probing voice.
"Isn't that obvious? I lost control!" He hissed angrily.
"You try wearing a mask all your life. Hiding every single inappropriate emotion behind it. Not daring to take if off even at night in case you can't put it on again! You try, having no one to talk to about anything personal..." He could feel his tears threatening again and angrily pressed the balls of his hands into his eyes.
The hand on his back never stopped moving in soothing circular shapes.
"I had no one to talk to until I turned 11 and came here. I know it's not the same but... well I guess I can understand a certain amount. I can't really afford to show much emotion either."
Removing his hands he looked at Potter with surprise and confusion. The-boy-who-lived had no one to talk to?
"Doesn't make for a great hero if you're emotionally unstable, does it?"
It was said wryly and he found himself almost smiling in sympathy.
"I know I turned you down years ago... but if you need someone to talk to now... well I guess... I'm a good listener I'm told." Potter shrugged helplessly.
He was so confused and shocked he didn't know what to say.
"Well... uhm... it's way after curfew, we should probably go."
He nodded in agreement and watched Potter get up and hold a hand out to him. He looked at it for a moment of indecision then took it and let himself be pulled up.
"I mean it." Potter said, when they were standing face to face still holding on to his hand. "If you need someone to talk, I'm here. I won't share what you tell me and I won't judge." He paused for a moment then continued. "If you don't want to approach me publicly then just send me a paper bird or something."
He nodded and then looked down at their hands. Potter let go hurriedly and stepped back a little.
Trying to be unaffected he walked to the door but just as he had taken hold of the handle he paused. Turning to Potter he surprised them both when he said, "thank you. I may actually take you up on that."
Potter grinned madly. "Good! I don't want to fear for my life, thinking you'll be taking the castle apart next. So make sure to do!"
He snorted once again before opening the door. Checking the coast was clear he quickly made his way down the corridor towards the Dungeons, glad to know Potter would have to head the other way.
A/N: Theoretically I have a second chapter to this story but I'm not ready to post it as I don't know exactly where to take the story after that. Right now this can sort of stand alone but after chapter 2 it couldn't.
So if you're interested to read more, review and let me know. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. :)