A/N: Had this in my head ever since I saw Deathly Hallows. Finally got round to writing it.
Still She Screams.
He can hear her screaming, even in the pantry, where he's hiding like the pathetic child he is.
He blames his father. His father who was stupid enough to make the same mistake twice. His father who was stupid enough to throw his lot in with him.
And she's still screaming.
He puts his hands over his ears and squeezes his eyes tight shut. He can't live in a world like this, which will only be worse once he's got rid of Potter. It's going to be worse once she's done all she can with Granger.
He doesn't want her to end up like the Longbottoms. He doesn't want anyone to end up like that.
He can't do anything though. He's not a Gryffindor, and he's not powerful enough to take on Bellatrix. He's not clever enough to outrun him.
Still she screams.
He kicks the door shut, clamping his hands even tighter over his ears but it's no use. He knows it will haunt him for the rest of his life, but in the current climate it doesn't look like that'll be too long anyway.
He wonders if there's a hell.
If there is, he's certainly going there.
He never asked for this. He should have let Dumbledore help him when he had the chance. He should have been smarter. He should have...he should have been brave.
He wishes he was a child again. Wishes that his biggest worry was what he'd be getting for his birthday and how extravagant the celebrations would be.
The screams are louder than ever.
He bows his head and a tear sneaks out from under his eyelids. He has a good mind to jump into the vanishing cabinet and see where it takes him. Anywhere's better than here.
He can hear Weasley screaming as well now, calling out her name. It's not going to help her, but he does it regardless. He can't hear Potter screaming, perhaps he's working on a way to get them out of there. He always manages it. Every time. He has to find a way out, and he has to take Granger with him.
There is a crack, and a house elf appears in front of him. Draco's so shocked that he drops his hands from his ears, and Granger's screams fill his ears like boiling water.
"M-Master Draco," the elf stammers.
"I - I - "
"Have you come for them?"
"Who, sir?" the elf is playing dumb. Of course he is, he doesn't trust Draco.
"Potter, Weasley, Granger."
"They're in the basement," he hisses. "You need to be quick, Granger won't last much longer, Bella's torturing her."
The elf nods, his wide, green eyes fixed in a state of shock. He disappears with another crack, and Draco breathes a sigh of relief.
He climbs the stairs quietly, and catches sight of Potter and Weasley as he crosses the hall. His eyes linger on Potter's, now clearly visible after the Stinging Hex has worn off. He sees the breath catch in his throat, the green irises fill with panic, but Draco simply turns his head and pretends he hasn't seen them.
He hangs by the door jamb, watching as Bellatrix interrogates the goblin.
Granger has stopped screaming now, and she's lying on the floor, a vacant, glassy look in her eyes.
His heart freezes, his lungs are empty, but then he sees her chest rise a little, then fall a little and he realises she's still alive. A sigh of relief escapes him before he can stop it, but as grim luck would have it, it is the same moment that Bellatrix chooses to shriek at the goblin, slicing his face with her silver dagger.
He's not sure what makes him do it, but he lifts his wand just slightly, aiming it towards Granger. She's watching him, her eyes gazing at the wand and then at his face.
She doesn't move.
She doesn't have any fight left in her.
He wishes she was still the same girl whose only concern was getting top marks in her exams.
He wishes she was still the same girl who punched him in the face in third year.
He whispers the charm, so quietly he can barely hear it himself. Her eyes close as the spell reaches her, and a long sigh escapes her. A little of the colour comes back to her drained face, and she shifts slightly on the floor. Her eyes open, and some of the shine has returned to those chocolatey brown orbs of hers. He can hear her thoughts as clearly as though she's speaking them aloud, right into his ear.
He's not nearly brave enough to do that, but he's cowardly enough for no one to suspect any unusual behaviour when he gives up the wands during the struggle.
She takes one last look at him before the elf disapparates with the lot of them, and again, her thoughts penetrate his head.