Control Room- Part 11
"Come on now, Mister Malfoy, let's not waste the day away!"
Draco Malfoy twitched in his sleep, the shrill voice piercing through the foggy haze of his dreams, but not yet jerking him into consciousness. He groaned softly, rolling over onto his stomach and tugging the knobby white bed sheet above his head. All he wanted was a few more moments... just a few more moments of blissful nothingness. He felt the comforting wave of deep slumber washing over him, caressing his mind with nonsensical fantasies. He was so close to submitting himself to sleep's domineering hand, to allow himself to be tied down by blankets and smothered by non-reality, when,
The curtains to his room were ripped open, sunlight flooding through, destroying the darkness. Madame Pomfrey swooped into the room, like a great, ferocious bird, ripping at everything in her path, including tearing back the sheet which covered Draco's pale face.
Well, damn. No chance for sleep now...
"Honestly, boy. Do you have any intention of waking at all today?"
" Why?" Draco groaned, squeezing his eyes tightly against the sun, his slender hands fumbling around blindly for the blanket that had been stolen away from him, desperate to hide himself away, once again, from the world outside. "It's not like I'm doing anything... lying in a bed and trying not to bleed out, how exciting."
"Well, you've never been known to spare the drama, have you? Guess I shouldn't be surprised, you foolish boy, don't you remember? You're to be released today!" Madame Pomfrey clicked her tongue impatiently as she continued her whirlwind attack on the room, flicking her wand to create a sense of order in the disarray that had been brought by Draco's extended stay. He had been there for the better part of 2 weeks, with nothing else to do but toss the room to shambles.
"Oh..." he mumbled, pulling himself to a sitting position, "But... uh... what about the, uh, the wounds? They haven't healed completely...?"
Madame Pomfrey turned her stern eyes onto Malfoy, concerned at his sudden distaste for being discharged. Malfoy's ears burned a bit at the intensity of her gaze... It wasn't that he didn't want to leave, god only knew that he'd had enough of the sterile white room... but it was the nagging sensation of, at least he wasn't out there. He had no idea what to expect in the halls of Hogwarts anymore... His life had become such a tangle of secrets and lies, he hardly knew what to constitute as reality. All he knew with any certainty was that his problems had probably not managed to pull a disappearing act...
"No, not completely, but they've healed well enough," Madame Pomfrey dragged Draco from his bed, to a standing position, flicking at his hospital gown and bandages with her wand, making them vanish. Draco shuddered from the sudden chill due to his lack of clothing, feeling more exposed than he would have wished, with only his briefs to cover him. "Of course, you'll have to stop in twice a week for bandage changes, but you should fare well enough. Seems a waste to keep you trapped in here, when you've got your stud-"
Madame Pomfrey's lecture was interrupted by a high-pitched squeal from the doorway.
"Oh good lord," the healer muttered, as she was pushed brusquely aside by a willowy brunette.
"Dray! I'm so happy, you'll be back today, you've no idea how much I've missed yo-...oh," Pansy Parkinson blushed deeply, a furious red flooding her face as she realized that Draco was nowhere near dressed; and seeing his injury exposed for the first time. Draco shifted awkwardly, having nothing to cover himself since Madame Pomfrey had done away with all his blankets. He wasn't sure what embarrassed him the most... his lack of clothing, or the horrific streak of jagged scars which marred his snowy flesh. There was nothing he could do to hide away the angry red lesions that tattooed his skin... he hated it. He felt flawed, untouchable, like the ugliest human alive...
"Miss Parkinson, perhaps now you can understand why we have a waiting area?" Madame Pomfrey turned her fierce gaze onto Pansy, who was shrinking against the wall. Draco was met with the strong feeling that the healer had developed a deep disliking for the flighty girl in the past week. He couldn't say he blamed her... Pansy could be a bit overwhelming. She meant well, but her well meaning was often expressed with a lot of...well... excitement. And excitement seemed to be about the most offensive thing in the world to Madame Pomfrey. "Might I suggest that you find your way there? Or perhaps I could find your head of house, since you seem so keen to ignore my instructions."
"N-n-no, no, I... I-" Pansy stammered, shrinking away from the angry healer, and staring at Draco's scars as though they made him some kind of monstrosity, "I'll go... I... I'll... I'll see you later, Draco." and she tore from the room, clearly terrified from all that she had encountered. Draco's stomach dropped like a rock. He knew it was more than just the healer's harsh words that had driven Pansy away... the look in her eyes had said it all. She hadn't run away from Madame Pomfrey... she had run away from him.
"Well then," the middle-aged woman bustled to the curtains, yanking them back to a close, foregoing the use of her wand, then turning back to face Draco. Her brows furrowed as she saw that he had returned to sitting on his bed, his face buried in his hands, his spidery fingers twisting into his platinum locks.
Draco sat frozen in his seated position for a moment longer, the only movement being his fingers tightening into his hair. Finally he sat up, slowly. Madame Pomfrey was startled to notice that his eyes had a burning red glow, as though he were fighting the urge to cry.
"I'm always going to look like this," Draco hissed, his teeth clenched together, his hands still clutching at his hair, " They're never going to go away, are they? I'll always look like... like some repulsive freak,"
Madame Pomfrey looked taken aback by Draco's sad statements. She wasn't used to dealing with the emotional aspects of healing... usually things such as sorrow and worry were taken care of by the insolent visitors who disrupted her work. It seemed especially strange that someone with as much prominence as the Malfoy boy would even display an outward emotion. Yet there he sat, his fingers tearing apprehensively at his hair, as his grievous eyes stared numbly into hers; clearly he was awaiting a response.
"Well, Mister Malfoy..." she began, softly, "They are curse wounds. Given enough time, the essence of dittany should completely cauterize the openings, and they should cease to bleed. Already we've seen progress on that..." she trailed off, knowing that she was simply providing her medical opinion, and not expressing the comfort that the boy sought out. This was all so strange to her... "Perhaps in time we can find a solution to fade the damages... who knows? Healers are always creating new potions, I've seen amazing things at work. And besides, it isn't really anything to worry about. The scars really aren't that ba-"
"Don't. Just don't," Draco said, raising his pale hand as a gesture of silence.
Madame Pomfrey's brows knit together in concern, but she simply nodded, resigning herself to silence. She knew there was nothing that could be said to appease the distressing thoughts racing through Malfoy's mind. Nothing but cheap white lies, which he clearly wasn't interested in hearing. She couldn't blame him.
Gently, she lifted him off the bed, and took to daubing his wounds with the essence of dittany. She pretended not to notice his gentle hissing as the oil seared at his flesh, allowing him to have some sort of dignity. Once more, the white bandages were wrapped tightly around his rib cage, tighter than usual to make accommodations for the shirts and pants he would be dressing in, rather than the spacious hospital gown. Draco dressed in silence, as Madame Pomfrey gathered his belongings, folding them neatly, and setting them in a small stack at the foot of the cot. Draco gathered them quickly, nodding a brief farewell to Madame Pomfrey, half-heartedly agreeing to her reminders that he had to stop in twice a week, before dashing out to the waiting area.
Pansy wasn't there.
In his heart, he knew he hadn't expected her to be. It was just a hope... But that was just it. Hope. Hope, which was nothing more than a master of deceit, a devil which filled the mind with pointless illusions, only to crush the heart when they proved to be empty lies.
Hope was a bitch.
He clenched his teeth together, grinding them in frustration. He should have known something like this would have happened. Pansy had always been shallow, he knew that more than anything else. It was the thing that he hated the most about her, what had always caused him to push her away... but for the first time in his life... he'd needed someone. And she had been there. Part of him had grown to truly care for her...the fact that she trusted him, that she could love so fiercely, so instantaneously. Funny that her love should leave just as fast...
Draco forced himself to stand with the stance of a proper Malfoy, his back perfectly straight, chest thrown out and head held high. His elongated posture tugged at his injuries, stretching the seared flesh uncomfortably tight, threatening to tear it apart, but he refused to let himself fall. He took to his arrogant, purposeful stride through the castle, his breath hitching in his chest with every step, as he clutched his belongings close to his side. Nearly two weeks of immobility had left his muscles stiff, aching with exhaustion due to misuse. But still, he forced himself onward.
Everywhere Draco turned, he felt the eyes of the students of Hogwarts gaping at him, whispers trailing him like an unwelcome shadow. He shot daggers from his own steely blue eyes at a group of particularly chatty group of first years.
"I heard he did it to himself... he wanted to die!"
"That isn't true you prat! It was his girlfriend, she caught him cheating and wanted revenge!"
"I heard he still bleeds... maybe he was attacked by a were-"
" Excuse me," Draco snapped finally, rounding on the small children with a vengeance, " But have you something to say to my face?"
The first years jumped at Malfoy's words, their faces draining of color as they wordlessly stammered.
"I thought not," Draco snarled, shoving them aside, roughly, with his free arm.
He kept his composure, his supercilious stride taking him to the edge of the hall, before he sharply turned the corner, breaking into a panicky sprint. Pain seared up his sides as he ran, but he refused to stop until he finally found sanctuary from prying eyes in the Slytherin common room. he glanced nervously around the room, thanking the fates that it appeared to be empty. He fell back against the door, his eyes squeezing shut as he struggled to catch his breath, his muscles screaming in protest at their forced use. Finally, he willed himself to slowly make his way to the fireplace, slumping unceremoniously into the throne-like armchair which stood before it, tossing his belongings to the floor.
His icy eyes trained themselves to the flickering flames which danced in the fire place. It stuck him, quite suddenly, how dark the Slytherin house was, even midmorning. He glanced towards the window, wondering if he had somehow been blind to the sunlight, but saw nothing but the hazy green light which always seeped in. Did everything here have to be so dark and grim? It seemed to him that the Slytherin stereotype had become forced upon, rather than earned by the house's inhabitants. Hard to be anything but sullen, when you never saw the sun...
What was becoming of his life, of him? Had he really been reduced to running away from a few bullying words like some simpering coward? It wasn't as if he was used to being gossiped about... he was a Malfoy for gods sake, if he wasn't being talked about, he was doing something wrong. No, it was more than just simplistic words... it was this constant unease. The sickening feeling of always being where you don't belong...
Usually he just ignored it.
But it's rather hard to ignore when you don't even belong in your own mind.
He sank lower in to the chair, careful not to tear at his already wounded skin. His head was throbbing, he noticed, probably from his sudden exhaustion.
'Because, why not?' he thought, grimly, rubbing his temple firmly with his calloused fingers. His eyes began to squeeze themselves shut, willing him to submit to slumber, when he caught sight of a shadow dancing down the corner corridor. He peeked cautiously over the edge of the chair, with much of the demeanor of a small child, trying not to reveal himself while catching a glimpse at the stranger in the room. Relief flooded through him when he saw the tall willowy figure of a girl, dark hair swaying though there was no breeze. He stood with a start, wincing at the pain in his sides, but still keeping his composure.
"Pansy," he said hesitantly, as if daring himself to speak. The brunette turned sharply in his direction, her violet, doe-like eyes wide with shock as they met his own icy blues. Her face flushed, as she stumbled backwards, her back hitting the wall.
"Pansy," he repeated himself, "You, uh... you left so suddenly this morning. Is everything okay?"
He felt foolish asking her, of course everything was not okay. She had run away in terror from him in the hospital wing, and here she was now, cowering into a corner at the mere sight of him. It sickened him, it truly sickened him, being stared at like his was some kind of monstrosity.
"Pansy," Draco whispered, his inner distress breaking through his voice. He sounded as if her were begging her to respond to him, yet she stood still. She wasn't even looking at him anymore, her amethyst eyes would look only at the floor, shielded from him by her thick, dark lashes. Her cowardice at his presence struck him suddenly, with a fierce wave of anger.
" SAY SOMETHING!" he finally screamed at her, his face burning red and his hands balling into fists at his side.
Pansy finally looked up, slowly, her long hair sweeping gently off her angelic face, as she turned to face Draco. Her eyes burned red with tears, making the purple irises look like a startling maroon.
"And what is it that I am supposed to say?" she asked, her soft voice shaking with anger. It was Malfoy's turn to remain silent, as he stared at Pansy.
"WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE ME SAY?" she shrieked, the tears flying wildly from her maroon eyes as she tore herself away from the wall.
"I-I.. I don't know," Draco stuttered, alarmed at her response, "I don't know, I jus-"
"You don't get it, do you?" she spat, "You can be so self-centered, consumed with your own glory."
Draco chocked over words he couldn't find. Pansy rarely spoke out of turn, and never had anything to say to him but praise... now her words were so harsh, laced with a venom that he couldn't understand. She went on, bursting with an unceasing spark of anger.
"I have stood by your side for six years now, Draco Malfoy. SIX YEARS. I have watched you parade around this castle, acting like you were some kind of god, spitting on everyone that you thought was less than you. And do you want to know the worst part? I joined in. I wanted to impress you so damn bad that I tried acting just like you. The funny thing is, I always knew that I still wasn't good enough for you. Good enough to be seen next to you, but not good enough to be with you. Just a show piece. I nearly gave up. I was so close to walking away, but then I saw something in you. I don't know if it was fear, or sorrow, or what; but it was human. And for once, I thought you might actually need me. And things seemed almost okay..."
"Pans, I-" Draco started.
"I'm not finished," Pansy cut him off briskly, "Please. Just let me finish."
Draco nodded, granting her his silence.
"I really did think that things were going to be okay, that I had a chance at being a part of your life... and then you started pulling away again. You wouldn't look me in the eye. You started sending me off... I thought I was lucky then, because if you were sending me off, it at least meant that you had noticed I'd been there at all. And then I found you in that bathroom, dying in a pool of your own blood. And you wouldn't tell me what happened. I've spent two weeks in the hospital wing, at your side, trying to make you feel safe. Instead, you just kept pulling further away from me... and then this morning, I finally saw what you had been hiding from me. You standing there with your chest torn to shreds, looking like you'd just been attacked this morning! And I couldn't handle it... I ran. I ran from you, from your secrets, from all of this. So, you asked me if everything was okay? No Draco, it isn't. It isn't okay."
Draco stared at her, his eyes searching her face for some sign of forgiveness . But he saw none. The Pansy that stood before him was not the simple girl that he had so often shooed away from him. She could not be bought over by white lies and petty compliments. The Pansy that stood before him was strong, she could hold her own, and she hadn't forgotten the way she had been treated.
"What can I do?" Draco asked, softly, "What can I do to make you trust me again?"
Pansy looked deep into his icy blues, searching his soul.
"Tell me the truth," she said, "Tell me the truth about what happened in the lavatory."
Not once did she blink, as she stared at him. He looked right back into her own violet eyes, though not with the same strength that she had. After some time, he turned his back to her, his hand grasping the back of the chair, his head bowed down in shame.
"I can't," he said simply, "I'm sorry... but I can't."
Though he wasn't looking at her, Pansy nodded. Her eyes filled with a deep understanding.
"I know," she replied, lifelessly, "Draco, I can't do this anymore. I don't know who or what it is you're trying to hide from... but I can't keep trying to find you. I just can't..."
Draco did not turn to face her, and instead listened to the sound of her footsteps as she walked away. He heard the portrait door slam shut, and knew that he was once again, alone.
And it was always his fault.
There was only one thing that he felt he had the power left to do. He lost it. He began screaming in anger, yelling about anything and everything he felt. He threw the armchair to the floor, then kicked the footstool to it's side. he grabbed the saucers and mugs that had been left on the side table, throwing them one after the other to the wall, the chimes of the broken glass harmonizing with his antagonized screams. He screamed and shouted and ravaged everything in his path, until there was nothing left. Nothing, but a broken boy, standing in the wake of destruction. And only then was there silence...
He stood there for what felt like an eternity, feeling numb. He looked around at the chaos he had created...
Was that all he was good for? Creating chaos? Was he so doomed, to always live in a world of anarchy?
He couldn't take it anymore. The walls of the common room felt as though they were closing in on him, suffocating him in his own uncertainty.
Once more, he tore from the room, racing down the halls of Hogwarts in search of the one thing he so desperately desired... the one thing he needed, like he needed the air in his lungs to live...
He needed to be in control.
A/N Oh my goodness, my lovelies! I haven't forgotten you, I swear! I hope you haven't forgotten me! I spend at least 6 hours a day in the studio every day, trying to get ready for my new album, and when I'm not in studio, I'm rehearsing! I'm going to try and spend at least 3 hours a week writing, so this break doesn't happen again... I PROMISE! I'm so sorry, leave me a comment and let me know if you're still here!
Love, LOTS OF love,