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Chapter 4: Truths Revealed
Chapter Four: Thruths Revealed
What the bloody hell was I thinking? he wondered desperately. Merlin… she’s Granger… since when I find her attractive and since when I give a damn about her? She’s always been an insufferable know-it-all who believes to be superior to others just because she’s the smartest witch in the world and because she’s friends with scar face!
He threw himself in the bed and placed one pillow in front of his face letting out a muffled scream.
I’m going bonkers! What the hell just happened downstairs minutes ago… I need to get back to my life… to my flat! If I could only get away from here, if only Granger told me what’s going on, if she told me… why she has me here as her prisoner.
He stood up and began to undress himself. He looked out the window and saw the rain hitting the ground outside hard and the wind shaking the trees madly. He saw lightning fall in the horizon and seconds later the house was shaken by thunder. He wondered about Hermione, if she would be able to get any sleep that night…
Am I going completely mad? Thinking about her again… It must have been that stupid Muggle food she fed me, or the wine. Maybe she has fallen for me (who wouldn’t) and gave me a love potion, she’s a smart witch after all, I’m sure she’s quite capable of making one of those. I have all the symptoms, I can’t get her out of my head, I seem to care about her… yes that’s it! Granger has fallen for me and slipped me a love potion.
He went to bed not even fooling himself, for he knew deep inside him that what was happening to him was definitely not product of any kind of love potion or enchantment.
In the next room a very distressed Hermione Granger sat on the corner of her bed. She was very scared of the storm and especially of the blackout. She had come to associate darkness with Death Eaters, since they preferred to attack during the night. She remembered the night Ron was killed, a night just like this one, except for the fact it was winter. She could still see Ron’s face blankly staring at her, a trickle of blood coming out of his mouth, making a stunning contrast with the immaculate white snow underneath him, his wand broken in half, still in his lifeless hand...
She stirred in her corner trying to hold back the tears she had successfully concealed inside her for a long time; trying to forget Ron’s last scream of despair before falling dead onto the ground. She heard the scream inside her head all the time, the scream that woke her up every morning. Sometimes she thought she was going mad; she heard him whispering her name in the dark. At those times she closed her eyes, always hoping that it had all been a bad dream and sure that when she opened her eyes again she would find him standing in front of her, smiling.
She was also worried about the Malfoy issue. She didn’t understand what had happened to her, how she ended up opening her heart in front of him, telling him how she felt, sharing her misery. And worst of all, crying in front of him. She used to cry all the time during her schooling years; she was more sensible then. But being in the middle of a war had made her tougher and required her to learn how to hide her feelings and not crumble before every single problem. She was still kind and compassionate when it came to others, though.
That should’ve never had happened, and it wont happen ever again, she sighed before falling asleep.
Two uneventful weeks went by in which they spoke to each other only when necessary. He continued helping her around the house, but he spent most of the time in his room, reading either Muggle or Wizarding books Hermione had lent him, or at least pretending to. He had stopped asking her why he could not go back to London or have his wand back. She sometimes hoped he had given up on the matter, but she knew he was Draco Malfoy, he would never give up. She had decided to ignore him. He rarely came down to eat when she served the food, so she always left his place for him to come and get when he felt hungry. Everything was going alright for Hermione until one morning when she was woken up by Malfoy’s screams.
He was running through some kind of dungeon or prison, he heard running footsteps following him and curses aimed at him bouncing all over the place. He arrived to a small passage and climbed the stairs leading to some kind of tower. He knew that he would have to jump in order to escape that place, he had no choice. He climbed and climbed until he reached a room where he saw the back of a man in black robes kneeling before the window as if waiting for something to happen. He saw white blond hair coming out of the back of the mask he was wearing, he knew who this man was, his father.
He stood there in the shadows thinking what to do. This was the man who found out he was really alive, he was the man who told the Dark Lord about Draco’s betrayal and probably of his mother’s as well. He had sold his wife - the woman who had preferred to stay by his side-- to his Lord in order to regain his trust. He hated this man, he was sure he was responsible for his mother’s death, he was sure he had killed her himself when he learned she had let Draco escape, he knew his father all too well.
He heard footsteps climbing the stairs as he realized he had no time left. Without thinking about it twice, he aimed his wand at the man and whispered with all the anger and hate he could summon “Avada Kedavra." A flash of green light filled the room as the man’s body fell onto the ground. He hurried towards the window and before jumping he lifted the man’s mask, he wanted to see his father’s face for the last time; he wanted to see what his father’s dead face looked like. He had finally killed him, the man he had always feared and hated, the man that led his family into a life of servitude to the darkest of lords, the man who preferred Lord Voldemort because of the power he gave him, over his wife, in spite the love and care she had always had for him. He lifted the mask and a jolt of pain shocked as he fell onto his knees, letting out a gasp of pain. For it was not his father the person underneath the mask, it was his mother. He let out a scream as he felt something hit his arm, causing him pain he had never felt before.
He sat up screaming and holding his head.
“No, no, no, please!” he yelled.
He couldn’t open his eyes; he could still see his mother’s beautiful, lifeless face in his arms, he could still see her blue empty eyes staring sadly at him, he could still feel the pain of the curse on his arm.
“What have I done, what have I…” He couldn’t breathe anymore, he was choking.
“Malfoy, Malfoy… Draco, please…” he heard a distant voice calling his name.
He opened his eyes trying to focus and saw a beautiful woman holding him. She looked so worried; her brown eyes looked so sad and concerned. He took her face into his hand and caressed her soft skin. She was so beautiful, like an angel.
‘I have died…” he thought before falling once more into deep darkness.
He felt weight upon his right leg and a hand purposely holding his. He couldn’t open his eyes, he couldn’t move, he couldn’t remember where he was. He remained there trying to figure out who he was and who was the person by his side. Memories started to flash inside his head; he saw himself as a little boy playing in a big garden, he was mounted on a broom flying above his mother’s head waving at her and yelling ‘look mum I can fly!’… It was his first day of school, they where heading to train station; he was in the back of a luxurious enchanted car, his mother looked back at him smiling, she was so proud of him, his father was telling him he better show everyone at school what being a Malfoy meant… He was looking at Harry Potter playing as seeker in the Gryffindor Quidditch team, he was the youngest seeker in a hundred years or so, he was so jealous… He was in his third year, he was laughing with Crabbe and Goyle because the stupid hippogriff was going to be sacrificed, Granger hit him in the face… His fifth year; he was making Potter’s life impossible, he loved being a member of the inquisitorial squad, Pansy looked at him with such admiration... Dark room, he felt scared, he was surrounded by Death Eaters, Voldemort asked him to come forward, to receive his mark… He was running up the stairs, he saw Dumbledore unmounting a broom, he disarmed him, he had him finally, he didn’t want to kill him… His mother looking at him desperately asking him to run away, crying, she was crying… Talking to Harry Potter, asking him if he could join the Order... Climbing, climbing stairs, seeing a man on his knees, his father… He remembered everything.
He opened his eyes, sat up and looked down at the sleeping beautiful woman beside him; she was on her knees besides the bed. Her head was resting on his right leg, her hand was holding his.
“Granger, wake up,” he whispered by her ear.
He couldn't help to notice that she smelled so nice, like flowers.
“Uh?” she looked up and saw his face, then she looked at her hand and let go of him. “You’re awake…”
She rubbed her neck, it felt so tense. She remembered then that she had spent the whole night by his side. She realized she must have fallen asleep beside him, her neck was killing her.
“How are you?” she inquired.
He looked into her eyes; he stood up and looked out the window.
“I remember everything, I killed her… I killed my mother,” he finally whispered.
He didn’t want to look at her, he felt a knot form in his throat, his face felt suddenly hot… he began to cry. He didn’t want to cry in front of her, but he couldn’t help it. He could count with the fingers of his right hand the times in his life he had cried, including this one. He felt so empty, filthy and sick. Crouching down he held his head and began to cry hard, as he had never, ever done before.
Hermione stood there frozen looking at him; she knew this was going to happen sometime. She was aware he didn’t remember because it was such a painful memory; it was called post traumatic stress, McGonagall had told her. She couldn’t help feeling sad, she couldn’t even imagine how he felt, what it was like to be Malfoy at this time. So she did the unthinkable; she kneeled beside him and wrapped him in her arms. She felt him stiffen in her embrace but then responded by holding her and placing his head on her chest. She didn’t know what to do with her right hand so she started to stroke his hair awkwardly and without even noticing it she began shedding silent melancholic tears.
What seemed like hours passed as she held Malfoy in her arms, she even thought he had fallen asleep because he had stopped crying a long time ago. Her head was resting on the wall but she kept stroking his head from time to time while trying not to think about the position she had gotten herself into, and trying to forget this was Draco Malfoy who she was holding. Suddenly he moved, she looked down and found his dark grey eyes staring back at her. They remained like this for a long time before he spoke.
“Thanks, I don’t know what to say… I feel so…”
Before he could continue she shook her head. “Don’t” she answered.
She helped him up, and grabbed his hand. It felt nice, it was a big strong hand, yet it was soft and delicate. He had long fingers, such a beautiful hand, she thought.
“You need a cup of tea, I’ll make you some,” she said avoiding his gaze.
“Do you have any firewhisky? I would prefer that,” he stated plainly.
She looked surprised at him. It was about 9:00 am, but then again…
“Sure, I need one as well.” She directed a faint smile to him.
Moments later, they were in the sitting room, sipping of glasses full of liquor.
“You knew?” he suddenly asked.
“Yes, the Weasley twins told me what happened the night they brought you here.” She avoided his gaze, wondering if the time had come to reveal everything. She pondered the thought for a while and resolved that she better tell him everything she knew.
“Your team said that after you caused the explosion in the main room at the Death Eater’s headquarters, you saw something that caught your attention so you went back. You asked the Weasley twins to stay behind and wait for you at the bottom of the southeast tower of the castle. No one knows what you saw, but whatever it was, it is obviously very important to the Death Eaters -- they followed you, trying to get you, even spite of the fact that their precious headquarters was burning down. If Fred Weasley hadn’t arrived… you wouldn’t be… I mean…” she paused for a moment before continuing. “He saw it all, he saw you kneeling and screaming over your mother’s body while trying to defend yourself from their curses. There’s something very weird though, they didn’t seem to want to kill you. They seemed to want you alive, so we think you stole something from them, information I mean… They want to get it out of you before killing you. Fred rescued you, he said you wanted to take your mother’s body with you but at that moment it was impossible… it was either you or her, and since she was already dead…”
She didn’t want to look at him; she didn’t know how he would take that last piece of information.
“So they just left my mother’s body there, among that band of murderers?” he spat.
“You passed out. Fred couldn’t carry you and your mother and at the same time defend you both from five furious Death Eaters. It was the correct decision,” she replied.
“Yeah,” He replied bitterly. He went silent for a couple of minutes before saying “I thought it was my father, I thought I had killed my father.”
His voice broke as if he was going to start crying again, but he regained his composure.
“When my father found out I was really alive, I thought he had killed my mother because no one but her could’ve help me escape. I was sure my mother was dead, I never imagined… that night…”
“Yes, we know. We also thought your mother was dead. At least that was the information we had, we were all surprised when we learned that night that she was still alive,” she replied still looking away from Draco.
They didn’t speak for about an hour, each one submerged in their own thoughts.
Finally Draco spoke, staring at the emptiness before him. “I think it’s the first time in years I’ve cried. The last time I remember crying was when Voldemort threatened me with killing my mother if I didn’t kill Dumbledore. She’s the only person I’ve ever loved… my mother. She’s the only person who has ever loved me. I will never forgive myself; I shouldn’t ever left her… ever.”
“She wouldn’t have come with you… When you joined the Order, Harry told us Dumbledore had offered to help your entire family, so we contacted her and offered our help. She refused it. She said she preferred to stay by Lucius’ side even though she didn’t approve of the life he had chosen. We tried to persuade her, but she wouldn’t budge.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about that?” he yelled staring at her in shock.
“She asked us to never tell you about that conversation because she said she had already told you about her decision. She also asked us to never share with you any kind of information concerning her or your father unless it was completely necessary. So we kept our promise. When she died, or at least when we received the information that she had been murdered by the Death Eaters, we chose not to tell you about it, although we guessed you knew. We were shocked that night, when the Weasley twins told us you had accidentally killed her. The person who told us she had been killed is one of our most trustworthy sources, or at least we thought he was,” she answered rapidly.
Draco remained silent for a moment digesting this last bit of information. He didn’t know if he was angry at the Order of if he was grateful; anyway, nothing would take away the feeling of hatred he felt against himself. He could never forgive himself for what he had done; he had killed the only person who had loved him, the only person in the world who really cared for him… his mother.
Hermione hesitated before speaking, but making up her mind she asked “do you remember what it is you stole from those Death Eaters?”
She knew it wasn’t the right moment to talk about those matters but they were in the middle of one of the biggest wars the Wizarding world had ever witnessed, and the information Draco had in his head might be the key to putting an end to it.
“No… I’ve been trying to remember it. I’ve must’ve locked that information with some kind of spell in my mind and I don’t seem to find the way to get it out of me…I need more time,” he finally stated.
“Yeah… I understand. You know it’s really important for the Order to have that information. I wouldn’t be asking you that if it wasn’t important,” she hesitated before answering.
“Don’t worry, Granger, I know were my allegiance lies… I don’t need to be reminded of that. But if you don’t mind, I’ve just learned I killed my mother and I need to deal with it before anything else. I’m sure you can understand that.”
“Yes… I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s ok, Granger… I just need some time to think.” He stood up and handed her the glass he was holding. “Thanks for the drink. I’m going to my room now. I need to be alone.”
He left the room without replying. She remained in her chair, wondering what to do next. Hell had unleashed itself.
I have to tell McGonagall, she finally decided.