Title: twice as bright
Characters: Draco Malfoy, Pansy Parkinson, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass.
Summary: They say stars that shine twice as bright burn half as long, but Draco isn't going to give up just yet. Four drabbles on the death of Draco Malfoy.
Notes: It's currently 8:50 on a typical Wednesday night as I'm writing this, and I don't quite feel like stopping just yet. Hopefully going to churn it out in a minute or two, so let's see how it goes. Enjoy!
The first person to ever talking about Draco's impending death - it was impending, because everyone was dying, weren't they, in one way or another, like burning stars - was Pansy Parkinson. Pansy was a blunt girl - they say the bluntest axes are better for execution than the sharpest ones - but she surprised Draco that day.
"How do you want to die? Actually, don't answer that. Surprise me."
It was one morning in sixth year, coincidently, that this happened. She calmly walked away from the breakfast table, not looking back and not expecting an answer.
"Fighting," Draco whispered in answer, because the rest of the Slytherin table had all departed and gone off to lessons and Draco knew he would be missing Transfiguration and he found he didn't really care.
The second person to inquire as to Draco's passing was his father. Lucius Malfoy was cold and intimidating - he had broken over the years, had crumbled into a dejected form that cared more for his Lord than his own family, and didn't burn the way he used to - but he was almost kind that day.
"How do you want to die, Draco?" Lucius asked once, after Draco had received the Dark Mark and was crouched over his burning arm.
He looked up in surprise.
"I - I don't know, father."
"Good," Lucius answered, standing up and not glancing twice at his son. "Death Eaters should not plan for anything but victory."
When Lucius had gone, and the pain in Draco's arm had ceased a little, he murmured, "Bravely."
Because he refused to be his father and he never wanted to be a Death Eater yet he was one and he lived like one and who said he had to die like one but still it wasn't as though he cared.
The third person to ask the question was his mother. Narcissa was perfect and empty - and she had quite lost Narcissa Black's fire along the ways and across the years and did you know she was the first Black to not be named after a star and maybe that's why she doesn't burn so bright - but she was very warm that day.
"How do you wish to die, my dragon?"
It was asked when they could both hear the screams coming from downstairs and they both pretended they couldn't and can we get some tea, we don't like tea, but I think tea would suit this situation very much don't you, nothing like tea and a show, after all.
Narcissa had raised a hand to stop him. "Don't answer, Draco. I'm not quite sure I won't to know."
She looked down at the floorboards for a moment, then walked out of the room and closed the door softly behind her.
"Peacefully," Draco answered her once she had left, because the screams continued and he continued to pretend he couldn't hear them and his mother's nightmares and his father's tantrums and his own cries and he pretended that he really didn't care anymore.
The fourth, and also last, person to ask the question was Astoria Greengrass. Astoria was a bright girl - they say that stars that shine twice as bright burn half as long but Draco's yet to see proof - and she delighted in asking questions to surprise him, especially today.
When they were courting, she asked thousands of different questions, and he rewarded her in one word answers and anecdotes.
"Do you wear boxers or briefs?" was the first question she ever dared to ask. "Is bubblegum ice cream a sin?" was one of the middle ones.
The last was, "How do you want to die?"
But Astoria didn't walk off; she never did, it wasn't in her nature to back down or stop shining, and hell, maybe that's what Draco loved about her, and after all, the surprise was always worth it in the end.
"I-" He paused for a second; waited for her to make her excuses and leave. She didn't move, but smiled encouragingly.
"Go on, Draco. Surprise me." She winked at him, and he smirked back, and did you know he loved her laugh because her eyes shone when she laughed and wasn't she pretty so pretty?
Because maybe that was the best way to live life after all and maybe he didn't need to know every future or every answer because she was surprising and warm and kind and she shone twice as bright as Pansy or Narcissa or Lucius and maybe just maybe the surprise was worth it in the end.