So this is gonna be several chapters long, eventual slash...sort of angst-ish, but nothing horrible :) This could be considered a prologue...Enjoy!


As always, the map isn't lying. Malfoy is indeed in the bathroom with Murtle. I push the door open a crack, just enough to watch the scene reflected in the mirror. Malfoy, the Malfoy, is hunched over the sink, clutching it for dear life, with tears running down his face. I realize that this isn't as happy a site as I thought it would be, seeing my death-eater enemy crying in the girls bathroom. Maybe it's the pain in his eyes, or the fact that he's paler and thinner than usual, but I almost...pity, him.

"Don't," Murtle begs him from inside her stall. I'm glad he has someone to comfort him, because I definitely can't. Knowing his nemesis is seeing him like this won't help him. "Don't... tell me what's wrong ... I can help you..."

"No one can help me," said Malfoy. He's shaking from his tears, and I consider running to get a Slytherin to help him, because no one really deserves to feel alone, which I know from experience. "I can't do it... I can't... It won't work... and unless I do it soon ... he says he'll kill me..." I gasp when I realize he means Voldemort, and anger surges inside of me towards the dark lord. Although Malfoy was horrible, and maybe still is, to be forced to work for someone so evil with the threat of death hanging over you...I gather up my courage and open the door, loudly.

Malfoy wheeled around, drawing his wand, and I pull mine out instinctively.

"Malfoy, wait, I heard what you-"

"Crucio!" he shouts, in a panic, and I feel pain, all pain, like a million hot knives stabbing me, burning me. But as quickly as it starts, it's over, and I curl up on the ground trying to stop the hot tears from flowing. I hear him come closer, then stop a few feet away. I hastily wipe my eyes and push myself up, ignoring my body's protests.
Malfoy's shaking harder than before, and he's swaying like he's going to fall over. There's a look of terror in his bloodshot eyes I've never seen before.

"Please, please don't tell anyone. If I'm expelled I can't finish what I have to do. He'll kill me, Potter, me and my family! He said he would-" I grab his wrist and force him down to my level.

"I won't tell, but you have to tell me what you're doing. You can't keep helping him, no matter what he threatens to do." I hesitate before adding, "The Order will protect you and your family if you switch to our side."

"Why? We've done nothing for them, we've fought against them!"

"But you could change all that! Help us now when we need you the most!" He looks smaller than I've even seen him, and I look away when I see he's crying again, unsure of what to do.

"I'm scared." I look up, shocked that he's admitted to weakness. "I'm not a Gryffindor, I'm not brave, and I can't handle this. I don't know how you manage, with all the pressure, everyone against you at times. No matter what, you fight him and win. I can't do that." Cautiously I take his pale hand, and he doesn't pull away.

"I can't do any of it alone, though. That's your problem. You try to do everything by yourself. Let us help you, and things will work out. I promise." I don't know what I've promised him, things may not work out. The Order could even refuse! But seeing him so broken...I can't think of anything else to do.

"I'm sorry, Harry." Did he say Harry? "For everything. For 6 years of treating you badly because I didn't understand that we're so alike. If I'd realized sooner, maybe I wouldn't be trapped like this." He looks on the verge of tears again, so I quickly mumble "It's fine." He shakes his head.

"But it's not. Especially what I did tonight. You were trying to help me, and I hurt you. And you still want to help."

"It wasn't that bad." A lie.

"I've been punished that way before, no one deserves it." I want to ask him more, but I don't want to ruin this cautious acceptance that's formed. Suddenly he gasps and points to my head.

"Harry, you're bleeding!" I put my hand where he's pointing, and it comes away red. I must have hit it when I fell after the crucio was over. "I don't know any healing spells! Harry, I'm sorry, I don't know how to fix it, I'll take you to the hospital wing."

"No, no one can find out what you did, they can't hurt you." I'm getting increasingly dizzy. "Just try your best, I trust you, Draco." I don't even know if I do, but he has to do something, and I can barely think with the blood flowing out of me.

"What should I try?" He looks so scared, I want to wipe the tears from his face, which is growing blurrier. I try to think of a spell, but I can only think of one, stretched across a white page, the only thing still clear in my mind.

"Try...Sectumsempra." I get out, things growing dark.

"Are you sure? I've never heard of it!" I manage to nod, and he mutters unsurely, "Sectumsempra." I feel my chest being ripped open, and the last thing I hear is Draco shouting my name.


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