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Chapter 11: Wouldn't Call It A Happy Ending
Hogwarts was no better. Now knowing that I could've been his child and everything would've been avoided, the death, everything.
I would've had a family, parents and I would still have them until this day. I spent weeks doing nothing apart from crying. Sometimes from guilt of thinking that way, other times from grief of losing Sirius.
I even cried during a Potions Lesson, where the Slytherins around me chortled and mocked.
Even worse was that I couldn't face Draco. I avoided him everywhere I went, I knew it was unfair for him, but I just couldn't face him. So maybe, this relationship between me and him, this really, wasn't meant to be. I mean, how can it if it was with the son of your parents' murderer? The son of the man who'd killed the closest person to me. How can this love possibly work?
I became secluded from everyone else, including Harry, Hermione and Ron. I stopped talking, eating, sleeping. I stopped being a human being. All I felt was pain and despair.
Hermione had tried talking me out of this mood, but failed. In return, the trio had left me to brood alone. I became distant from them and everything else.
Several weeks had gone by and no one had been able to talk to me. Even Dumbledore had attempted, though he managed to squeeze a few words of anger out of me. Other than that, I might as well have been mute.
Draco had tried communicating to me, whether it be in Potions or when we meet in the corridor, he tried; causing many confused passer-byers.
One late night, I couldn't stand staying in the dormitory anymore, so I left. I walked briskly around the castle. I didn't care if I was caught, I didn't care about anything anymore. I walked aimlessly, walking wherever my feet took me.
Unsurprisingly, they brought me towards the window down the corridor. Unsurprisingly again, Draco was there. His head was propped out of the window, his blonde hair being slightly blown backwards.
“Bit late isn't it?” he said, not turning his head.
I thought about leaving, but then I realised he had tears in his eyes. I didn't say anything.
“I don't get it Soph, why don't you talk to me anymore?” he asked, voice shaking slightly. “I know about... Sirius, but I swear, I didn't know they were going to do that.”
I dropped my gaze and took a few steps towards the window. I stood besides Draco who had finally turned his body so that it was facing me.
“Talk to me.” he said, not a command but a plead.
“Let's end it... Draco.” I said quietly.
He looked at me with utter shock on his face. “What?”
“Let's end it. I want to end this.” I wasn't able to meet his gaze. I forced a grim chuckle which ended up more as a small hiccup. “We're on opposite sides of the board here Draco. It won't work.”
Draco didn't say anything. Finally, I gazed up at him and his wounded eyes stared back.
“Maybe... Maybe we just weren't meant to be... Draco.” It killed me to say this and it seemed to have killed him too.
“Look, it was working before. It can still work.” He implored.
I shook my head, “Your father... I swear, I'm going to kill him. We're on different sides.” My eyes began to water and I didn't bother getting rid of the tears. “It won't work.” I said again, firmly.
For a while, Draco didn't utter a sound. Then: “Sirius wouldn't have wanted you to kill my father.”
“What would you know what he wanted?” I shot, firing up suddenly. “You didn't even know him until a few months ago!” Draco didn't look the least bit taken aback.
“No one would want someone close them to be a murderer.” He said softly.
“I've lost everything! Sirius was the last one and your father killed him!” I screamed at an already upset Draco.
“And we're nothing, is that what you're saying?” Of course they weren't nothing, but I didn't say anything. “You're complicating matters.” Draco added, looking at me cautiously.
“No, it's simple,” I sighed, calming down a bit, “Your father kills Sirius, I kill your father. Simple.” A flashback shot through my head, where Sirius was being attacked by the dementors. I forced myself to not let the tears go.
After a moment of silence, “Is that it then?” Draco asked, straightening his back so that it blocked the moon's light.
“Yes.” I breathed with the last bit of breath.
With hesitance, Draco left. Without another word, he walked away. Unable to look at his back, I lifted myself on to the ledge and leaned my head against the wall so that I wasn't facing his direction. There, I cried. I traced the bracelet which Sirius gave me, wept at the moon, at Draco, at Sirius, at everything.
Meanwhile, Draco too, had cried. He'd locked himself into a classroom - not far from the Window - slunk to the floor and leant against the door. He exhaled heavily and let the tears flow from his eyes onto his chest as he watched the stars glitter and the light illuminate the room through a window.
I'd never felt so alone in the world. I drifted around the castle by myself. Not saying a word to anyone else. I was left inside my own world, one where there was nothing but heartache and grief. Saturday was a bright, nice day for most.
Everyone was outside, running around crazily or having a good time. Then there was me. I stayed inside the Gryffindor Common Room – by myself. I was so lost in my own mind that I didn't realise when Fred came and sat down besides me on the sofa.
“Sofie...” he said, not bothering to wait for a reply, he continued, although slightly slower. “I... I know what you're going through. I lost my twin and, well, it's not the best feeling in the world. I understand that, and I'm sure Harry and the rest do as well. You're not alone you know. Sirius wouldn't have wanted you to go on like this. Okay, so I didn't know him as much as you did, but I'm sure that he wanted you to be happy. It's been what... three months? And you've been spending those three months without talking to anyone or without any help. You can't do that.”
He got off of the sofa and paced around the room. “I know that Sirius was a happy one, he loved life and embraced everything it dished out. I'm sure he would've wanted you to do the same.”
With that, he trotted off, leaving me alone to realise the impact of those words. Gradually, I started to talk to people again. Firstly, I started talking to Harry, Hermione and Ron again who sympathised and comforted me.
Then I began talking to others, although it was always brief and short. Even with Harry and co. It wasn't the same as before. It would never be. I couldn't even look at Harry properly. No one knew I was his cousin, not even him. I was expecting Sirius to tell him... One day.
Guess he never got round to it. I chuckled grimly at the irony of that.
Eventually, I became slightly human again. I moved on, although I'd never forget Sirius and what he meant to me, I decided not to ponder on what's happened. I was sure that I'll meet up with him again, my parents too, and until that time, I decided that I'll enjoy the time that I have now.
“Soph, you haven't seen my hair brush anywhere have you?" Hermione asked, rather flustered. She stopped mid-way towards me. “What are you doing?”
She looked at me dumbfounded. I was lighting my curtains on fire.
I gestured towards my wand and the curtain. A little flame emerged and set on the curtain. I grinned small-ly.
“What the hell, Put It Out!” she shrieked, while I laughed.
“Calm down Hermione, it's cute isn't it? It'll never grow big!”
“Have you lost your mind Soph? 'Cause you're acting a bit funny here.” She pressed the back of her hand against my forehead.
“I'm fine Hermione.” I said, pulling her hand away.
“DEATH EATERS!” a girl screamed, just outside our dormitory. “DEATH EATERS!”
Hermione and I looked at each other, mouth hanging open then I scrambled to the door and pushed it open, just like multiple others from their own dorms.
“Death Eaters,” the girl panted, “they're in the castle, and, and,” her voice dropped so much that it took me a few seconds to realise what she'd said: “He Who Must Not Be Named. He's here.”
A lot of the girls screamed while I turned back to Hermione, heart beating at an extremely fast pace.
“I don't think he could do much Hermione.” Sure enough, if Death Eater's had gotten passed the castle's defences, Dumbledore couldn't do much more.
“What are we gonna do?” I asked her, expecting her to have an answer.
I wasn't disappointed, “Let's... Let's just go find Ron and Harry first.”
The message of the death eater's and Voldemort had reached the boys just minutes after it had reached the girls. Harry was the one to have spotted us, halting Ron from the bustling boys and girls, eager to get out of the common room, into what they believed was safety.
We reached Harry and Ron with quite some difficulty, pushing and swerving through the younger, terrified kids. One look at the two of them and it had been decided. We were going to fight. Each of us nodded silently, one by one.
We pushed past the kids and reached the corridors where it was packed with all death eaters, teachers and students. Dodging a spell, we decided to split up. I ran off towards the left, wishing the others a silent good luck.
I ran past Professor Flitwick who was sending multiple death eater's flying onto a wall. Determined that Professor Flitwick needed no help, I continued running. I turned a corner and saw him. Lucius Malfoy. Roaring with laughter as he watched a Hufflepuff boy trip.
“Malfoy!” I bellowed, whipping my wand out with rage which had been suppressed for most of my life. His face lit up with a smirk as he faced me. “EXPELLIARMUS!”
Nothing happened. “Crucio!” he spat, and an instant feeling of immense pain ran over me, like a double decker, rolling back and forth right on top of me.
I writhed on the floor, screaming and shrieking.
His laughter echoed in my head as he maintained the curse on me.
“Your father would have loved this... Were he to stay loyal as a death eater.”
I tried screaming out at him, but all I could do was scream in pain.
“How are days without Black? Must be dreadful, loosing your parents and best friend? I heard you loved him.” Lucius took his time speaking, savouring the moment of torture.
He released the curse, leaving me shaking and breathing heavily on the floor. He chuckled softly and crouched down next to my face.
“You loved him, didn't you?” he whispered, taunting me with Sirius.
“FUCK OFF!” I shrieked, shoving him hard and getting to my feet. He yelled a spell and I fell over again.
“You're fucking dead,” I said through clenched teeth, “I'm going to kill you.” My teeth started to tremble together.
“You should be taught manners, young Rivers. Just like your father,” he drawled, spits of gob landing on my face. He raised his wand. But then he froze.
Unsure why he had just... frozen, I shoved him hard again and ran off. I couldn't kill him, not yet. I kept running until I reached the Entrance Hall where multiple battles were being held.
Several bodies laid on the floor, dead or alive, I wasn't sure. There was a mix of students from various houses – apart from Slytherin - and teachers as well as death eaters and some people I've noticed from the Order.
Just in the corner of the hall, a group of Slytherins were huddled. I studied them, looking for Draco. No one I knew was there, except for Pansy, but other than that, they were all either in younger years or in their seventh year.
I scanned the room again for glimpses of Harry or Ron or Hermione. When there was none, I ran again. I ran through a corridor of many non-moving bodies.
I stopped abruptly when I saw a second year girl - whom I recognised from around – with a dark crimson patch on her chest. I groaned with anguish, Fenrir Greyback was here in the castle.
I continued running, keeping a very alert eye out for Greyback. I kept running for a good twenty minutes when I was pulled into an empty classroom.
“Soph, we have to get out of here.” Draco had closed the door shut and barricaded it with the teacher's desk.
“Draco? What the hell?” I tried shoving past him, back outside but he remained firm and stopped me.
“No, Draco. We've got to help.” I insisted.
“In case you've forgotten, I'm a death eater.” he said with a trace of bitterness.
“I don't care! I have to help!”
“Let me out!” I screamed, pushing against Draco's arm around my waist.
“Sofie, Shhh. I'm not going to hurt you.” Just at that moment, there was a blast and we were sent flying backwards. I re-emerged from the rubble coughing, a lanky, shagged faced death eater staring down at me.
His smile displayed a set of yellow, sharp teeth with specks of blood.
“I thought I heard someone screaming in here.” he rasped. Greyback stepped towards me, smiling with yearning hunger.
“STUPEFY!” Draco yelled at the right of me. He grabbed a hold on my arm and pulled me outside. We ran through the corridor, luckily no one was there. He led me towards the Room of Requirement and told me to wish for a room to hide in.
I did so and a door appeared on the wall. He dragged me in the broom cupboard and closed the door behind me.
“Why are they here?!” I screamed at him, completely in hysterics.
“Look, I don't know. Really Soph, I would've told you if I knew.”
I screamed something incoherent at him, slapping his chest.
“I've got nothing to gain here Sofie! My friends are either dying or they're getting hurt as well. I don't like this any more than you do!” He pushed me away so that I was at arms length with him. “And you've gotta stay away from my dad.”
I forced myself to laugh darkly, “I've already made up my mind.”
“No, you can't. I watched you duelling him before. You don't stand a chance.”
“It was you!” I yelled, unintentionally. “I swore I was going to kill him.”
“Maybe later. You can't kill him Soph, not yet.”
I sighed, knowing what he's saying was right.
“What'd you have in mind?”
He explained to me what we were to do. We were to run to Hogsmeade while everyone's still duelling and there, we apparate elsewhere. I was to wear my invisibility cloak as no other death eater would suspect Draco.
“When you're saying 'we', you mean us and Harry, Hermione and Ron as well right?”
Draco looked grim, grimmer than he was before. “Sofie...”
“What? What?!” I blurted, heart beat pacing even quicker.
“Sofie, you have to forget them. For the time being.” There was a hint of sympathy and patience in his voice.
“I can't just forget them Draco.” I said quietly, pushing the worst possibility out of my head.
“Sofie... You have to.”
“Look, just tell me what happened. I'm not stupid.”
Draco exhaled, sitting down on an empty chair. There he closed his eyes and slowly massaged his eyelids. “Hermione and Lupin are dead. Ron's been bitten by Greyback and I haven't seen Harry.”
I gaped at him, the fact that they were dead, or hurt hadn't passed through my head yet.
“I saw Hermione die. My.. Aunt killed her. Lupin, he was dead by the time I reached him and Ron was writhing on the floor when I saw him.”
“No...” I gasped, my eyes welled with unwanted tears.
“Sorry.” he said quietly, obviously feeling guilt and misery for associating with the death eaters. There was a moment of quiet – despite the noises of screams and yells from outside – then I had enough of brooding.
“I have to get my invisibility cloak then.”
“Where is it?”
Draco led me unnoticed back to my dorm, he used the back entrances and the secret passages which he already knew of as well as the ones I informed him with.
“Quick.” he said once we reached the Gryffindor common room.
I ran upstairs and looked around my trunk hurriedly for my cloak. I jumped back down once I found it and saw Draco studying the room with curiosity and interest.
“I got it.” He told me to put it on, so I did. He walked slowly and cautiously through the castle. No one attacked or threw spells at him.
As we reached the gate, there were two death eaters positioned at either side. I inhaled sharply while Draco smiled faintly at them and they let him by.
“Did you hear about that mudblood girl?” One asked Draco.
Draco hesitated, “Which one?”
“The one that's good friends with Potter.”
“Yeah I did actually.”
“Bloody good thing. A waste she was.” He sent a pool of spit right besides my feet. I growled and remembered where I was and who I was growling at.
“Yeah, well... I'm going to Hogsmeade for a little while. Do you want me to get you anything?” Draco said briskly.
“Some firewhiskey would be good, wouldn't you say Dragnar?”
The other death eater – Dragnar – merely grunted, he eyed Draco with suspicion.
Draco walked away at a steady pace, not wanting to give it away. We were at least a few dozen feet away until one of the death eater's yelled.
We both looked up and saw that they were running after us.
“Run.” Draco shouted, pushing me ahead of him. He shot back stunning spells at them whilst running. “Keep running, don't stop until you reach Hogsmeade. There, take your cloak off.”
“Where are you going?” He didn't say, he ran right, away from both death eaters and I.
I did what he told me to, I ran to Hogsmeade, clinging onto my cloak for dear life. I slowed and looked back. To my surprise, the death eater's weren't there anymore. They'd ran after Draco. I felt my pulse quicken and I felt dread for Draco.
Knowing I was unable to do anything, I started to jog. I kept jogging until I saw the Hogsmeade sign. I felt an enormous feeling of disappointment and fright. I wasn't able to apparate properly.
“SOFIE!” I heard Draco's voice call. Right behind him, I saw the two death eaters, still running after him. I heard some insignificant yells coming from Dragnar, pointing the other death eater to a different direction. Red jets of light came out of each of their wands, missing Draco's head just by an inch.
Not thinking of what I was doing, I managed the Caterwauling Charm around the death eaters. An extremely loud high pitched screaming entered their ears and they both paused, writhing with agony as the screams deafened them.
“I can't apparate!” I screamed at Draco, voice breaking.
Draco continued running. He didn't even stop when he reached me, he merely held my arm tightly and spun. The next instant, we were far away. We were in some kind of grassy pasture, a lake visible not far from a small wooden house.
Although it was night time, I still managed to see. Draco let go of me and panted heavily. He fell to the grassy floor on his bottom, his arms put back. He opened his eyes and watched as I observed the horizons and seclusion of the area in awe.
“I've cast the muggle repelling charm so no one could bother us.” he said from the floor. He'd stopped breathing heavily and was gazing up at me, with a slight smile.
I wasn't able to talk, the view was breath-taking. Then without warning, I plotted my bottom on the grass.
“Congratulations Miss Rivers, we've run away.” Draco murmured sarcastically, lying back with one arm under his head.
I didn't say anything. Instead, I laid down next to him, laying my head on his chest.
“So, is it still over between us?” he asked, eyes closed.
I gazed at his face – which was dimly lit by the stars as there was no moon visible - torn between admiration and affection.
“Draco...” I whispered softly, taking his hand in mine and entwining his fingers.
“Sofie...” he whispered, back eyes opened again, looking straight up at the dark sky. “I love you.” My fingers ceased with the playing for a moment, then began again, clutching them tightly.
“I love you too.”