Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
A/N: My take on another overused plotline. Kind of inspired by the song it's named after by The Rasmus. I know I shouldn't start anything new, but it's just sitting here already written on my flashdrive, so why not?
Open My Eyes
It was all too much back home in England. Things were much too different now. Things were neither here nor there for the Malfoys. Certainly, they were no longer on top, but then again, they would never be at the bottom. Of course everyone knew they had been Death Eaters, and while some still considered them so, others forgave them, knowing without their testimonies, many Death Eaters might not have been locked in Azkaban at the current moment.
But Draco was sick and tired of the collective hush that followed him everywhere. The buzz from the war hadn't quite died down yet, and everywhere he went he felt people staring. Sometimes, he'd have to put someone with a big mouth in his place, other times, he'd just ignore the onlookers, and eventually they would busy themselves elsewhere. But it was still annoying, and driving him to the point where he had no desire to leave his own home. And though there was plenty to keep him occupied in Malfoy Manor, it didn't stop him from being terribly lonely and cabin fever was surely beginning to sink in.
He really didn't have any friends anymore, not that he'd really had any to begin with. Crabbe and Goyle had both been unfortunate casualties of the war. While they were rubbish company most of the time, really only concerned with food and their basic means of communication being guttural grunts, it was still something; something he missed, reminding him of when life wasn't so complicated. Pansy would never speak with him again since it was his family's testimony that guaranteed her father a life sentence in Azkaban. She had always been a pill, but it would've been better than nothing at this point. And Zabini, well, they were all right, but he was far too busy bagging women somewhere near the Bermuda Triangle to be all that bothered with Draco.
And that was about it. Anyone else he associated with was either in Azkaban, like Marcus Flint, or had just completely distanced themselves from pureblood society, like Theodore Nott. Draco hadn't even considered going back to Hogwarts; a deep-set fear of the ridicule he'd face festering within. There were no potential companions he would dare brave those hallways for. Instead, he had opted to continue his studies with a private tutor, making up his missed time and continuing to excel in Potions.
There was no discussion about it. He had to go elsewhere. There was absolutely nothing that was keeping him in England and he was going to take this opportunity to give that 'discovering oneself' a go. Draco went into his father's office and pulled a thick, worn book from the shelves, the words Apperation Port Directory printed across the cover in gold lettering. He needed a change of scenery, maybe permanently.
He quickly browsed through the different ports in Italy, thinking Venice would be a nice place this time of year. But he realized that might still be too close to home. Surely all of Europe's wizardinbg world would be far too familiar with his name. He could always have a name change, but he was much too proud to do that, and his father would certainly have a hippogriff if he even suggested it.
Draco decided another continent completely would be the best decision, and flipped open to the North American section towards the back of the book. He definitely wanted to go someplace warm, and though he hadn't heard the greatest things about America, he knew it was big enough to easily get lost in, overpopulated by muggles who would have no idea who he was. And he was sure it had it's own bits and pieces of paradise. It couldn't be all bad, and it was oceans away from England. Had they even really caught wind of the war?
That was stupid. Of course they had. But there was a good chance they weren't aware of the specifics in the wizarding society overseas. His name may not have come up in the papers as often as it had in Europe. And if it had, all that was probably known was that his family had testified against the Death Eaters and thet the Malfoys had indeed defected, which could really only work in his favor.
Of course, it could very well be his wishful thinking assuring him of these details, however it was a chance he needed to take.
He scanned the different states, deciding that the coastal area was most appealing. Maybe he would take up sailing, or fishing. He had no real need for a job, as his trust fund was more than enough to provide a small country with all their needs for the rest of their entire lives. Sure, his parents had donated a large sum of money to many different war recovery charities recently, but that was merely chump change when coming from old money as he had.
He looked over the southeastern states first, thinking Florida seemed considerably nice, but then deciding the summers seemed much too hot and humid for his liking. Moving on to the West Coast, he was basically given the choice of California or Hawaii. While Hawaii seemed nice, it was very small and likely not as easy to blend in, so Draco settled on California. He followed his early instincts and pinpointed an apparation port that was located in Venice Beach, the Italian name standing out immediately. He had always enjoyed his holidays in Italy, which is why he'd thought to travel there first, and though he was certain this would be nothing like Venice, he felt as if it were a sign.
So it was decided. He would spend some time in Venice Beach, California. He was a wizard, after all. It wasn't such a big deal. If he didn't like it there, he could move on to another place with a flick of his wand.
Deciding where to go wasn't the difficult part. Telling his parents would be. So, Draco took the coward's way out and decided he would leave a letter, not wanting to deal with his overly temperamental father and, as of late, smothering mother. They would not be able to stop him whether he told them face to face tomorrow or if he left the message; he was eighteen now, and could easily do as he pleased. They wouldn't understand and he had no desire to deal with their questioning, so he sat at his father's desk and dipped a quill into some deep emerald ink that dried instantly and never blotted.
To my dearest parents,
I've decided, after much deliberation, to take a vacation, if you will. Please don't come looking for me. I will owl when I feel it is appropriate, but for now, I need to go out and live, alone. After everything I've been put through, after everything I was dragged into, I think I deserve at least that.
Please respect my decision. It's the least you can do.
Draco Lucius Malfoy