Chapter 12 : His Final Choice
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Most of the guests had already arrived and Sam was out in the gardens mingling. It was a very cold night but a special enchantment had been placed on the gardens to keep them warm until well after midnight when most of their guests would leave. Harry and Ron were having a ball stuffing their faces at the buffet while Hermione and Ginny were chatting away with some of Sam’s friends from Spain.
Professors Dumbledore, Knight and Snape were all there as well. Dumbledore was laughing uncontrollably at Fred and George Weasley’s antics as they tried to set up for the fireworks show later that night. Professor Snape, who had played a large part in saving Professor Knight’s life, would hardly let her out of sight for even a moment. If Sam didn’t know any better she would swear that there was something more there than just friendship.
It was turning out to be a wonderful night. The only thing that could have made it better was if Draco could have been there. Sam had now come to realize that her feelings for Draco were too strong to deny. She didn’t know if things could work out between them but she thought that she might be willing to give it a try.
One of the servers hired for the night came out to inform her that there was a problem in the kitchens. Apparently some of the entrees were missing. There was an hour left until the main event and so she decided to head to the kitchens to see if she could locate the missing items. As she came around the edge of the gardens towards the back entrance to the kitchens, something jumped out of the shrubs in front of her. It was a man and when he went to grab her she screamed.
“Shh! Sam it’s me!”
“Draco? What are you doing here?”
“I need to talk to you,” he said and pulled her around the side of the house away from prying eyes.
“I need you to tell me how your mother died,” he said.
“I don’t have time to explain. Was it an accident?” he said frantically.
“Yes, she was apparating home and she accidentally got too close to the ravine next to our house. The edge crumbled and she fell. When she landed it broke her neck.”
“Was there ever any doubt that it was an accident?”
“Not at first no. But at the beginning of the school term my father got some information indicating that there might have been foul play.”
“Did he ever find out who it was?”
“No,” she said, “Draco you’re scaring me. What’s going on?”
“I don’t know how to tell you this,” he said wringing his hands through his hair, “I think my parents killed your mother.”
“What?” she said stepping away from him. Tears were already beginning to form in her eyes.
“It’s a really long story but I overheard my parents talking tonight before I came here. I think they’re going to try and kill you. They want to make it look like an accident. Like your mother.”
“No…No…No,” she just kept repeating it over and over again. Trying to will what he was saying into a lie.
She knew it wasn’t his fault but she couldn't look at him anymore. She had to get away. She needed time to think. Without caring where she was going she turned away from him and starting running. He was chasing after her calling to her but she didn’t listen. She just kept running until she tripped and fell to the ground.
Something that looked a lot like a planner was lying just a few meters away. It resembled the one that her mother used to carry with her everywhere. She had it with her on the day she died but they had never recovered it. It had always seemed odd that they hadn’t found it.
She could hear Draco screaming at her telling her not to touch it. But she had already reached out to pick it up. The moment her hand touched the cool leather she felt a tug behind her navel and she was yanked forward. For a moment everything around her was a blur and then she landed with a thud on hard ground.
“I see you found my present.”
Draco dropped to the ground where Sam had been lying only seconds before. He beat the ground in frustration and let out a wail of anger. His parents had her. He knew it.
If he was going to save her he would need help. He jumped up and looked back towards the crowd of party goers chatting unawares in the distance. Then he spotted the man that he knew could help him. He ran full force across the lawn nearly knocking over a few party guests along the way.
“Professor Dumbledore! My parents they’ve got her! You’ve got to go! You have to save her!” he yelled when he reached the headmaster.
“Please slow down Mr. Malfoy. Who is it that your parents have?” Dumbledore asked calmly.
“Sam. They have Sam. They’re going to kill her!”
“Where did they take her?” Mr. Collins demanded. He was gripping Draco hard by his upper arms but he didn’t care.
“I don’t know. They used a portkey,” Draco answered him and the Minister relaxed his grip.
Dumbledore turned Draco back to face him, “Think Mr. Malfoy. Where would they have taken her?”
She looked up to see Narcissa Malfoy standing over her. They were alone in a clearing somewhere in a wooded area. Narcissa reached down to the pick up the planner that had fallen to the ground after Sam arrived.
“I knew your mother’s planner would come in handy one day,” Narcissa said.
“So it’s true. You killed her!”
“It was more like – a happy accident,” she said, “Which never would have needed to happen if she hadn’t come here to investigate something that was none of her concern. She was a meddler like her daughter.”
Sam wanted to hit her but found herself somehow magically restrained. She was fixed to the spot unable to move.
Narcissa circled around her as she continued to talk, “But this time we had a warning, a prophecy: The dark lord’s most loyal servant has secret blood on her hands. The spawn of that blood will discover her treachery and will steal from her and destroy her plans...”
“It didn’t take us very long to discover that you were the one mentioned in the prophecy. However it took us much longer to figure out what you intended to steal.”
“I don’t want anything that yours!” Sam yelled at her.
“Oh but you do, my son,” she said her voice laced with venom, “It wasn’t entirely clear to me why my son had began to behave so oddly until I discovered through your father your attachment to Draco. At first I thought this was a welcome development. That it could help us eliminate you as a threat to our plans but then tonight I discovered that my son had left our home to warn you.”
“Because he’s not like you! He doesn’t want to be a murder!”
“He doesn’t know what he wants!”
“Yes he does. Stupefy!”
Before she had even gotten the chance to register his presence, Draco was by her side and had her wrapped tightly in his arms. She found herself free to move again and quickly wound her arms around his neck to embrace him. After a minute he leaned back to look at her and put a tender hand on her face.
“I was so scared that I wouldn’t make it in time!” he said.
“I am so sorry I ran away from you.”
“No, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have broken it to you like that. I was just so worried because – because I love you and I didn’t want to lose you.”
Sam couldn’t trust herself to speak. Instead she pulled him hard against her and kissed him with all her might. She didn’t want to ever let go of him.
“How touching,” a male voice said with sarcasm.
Draco jerked around to face the intruder, keeping Sam behind his back, “What are you doing here father?”
She should have recognized the man as Lucius Malfoy even though she had never seen him. The family resemblance was striking. Lucius looked over at his wife unconscious on the ground and shook his head. He turned back again to his son and the famous Malfoy smirk appeared.
“I’m here to give you a choice son. You can either leave with me,” he said and pointed towards his chest, ”or you can die with her.”
Lucius pointed at Sam with his wand and Draco tried to hide her behind him.
“I won’t let you kill her!” Draco yelled at him.
“You won’t have to – Impendimenta!” Lucius yelled but Draco pushed her behind a tree just in time.
"Stay here," Draco said. Trembling he moved out from behind the tree to face his father. Wasting no time, Lucius immediately began flinging curses at his only son.
Sam had never been so afraid in her entire life as she watched the two men dueling from between the trees. She wished with all her heart that she had her wand with her. Then she remembered the unconscious woman not far from her and crawled over to search for her wand. Right as she spotted the wand lying on the ground to her side though the woman came to and lunged at her.
They were rolling on the ground clawing and scratching at each other. Both determined to reach the wand first. Narcissa pinned Sam to the ground and reached out for the wand as Sam struggled against her. The woman had her and she knew it but she refused to stop fighting. With the wand now clasped firmly in her hand, Narcissa pointed it at Sam’s throat.
“No you’ll pay for turning my son against me!”
Sam closed her eyes waiting for death to come. Then she felt the woman’s grasp on her slacken and she opened her eyes to find Narcissa lying unconscious on top of her. She heard footsteps approaching and she hurried to push the woman off of her.
“Are you alright?” Professor Knight asked her. Dumbledore and Snape were standing behind her with their wands out.
“I’m fine,” she said a little shakily.
“Where’s Draco?” Snape asked. Sam turned to search the clearing but Draco and his father were no where in sight.
“He was right here dueling with his father,” Sam said still searching for any sign of him.
“Lucius is here?” Dumbledore said.
Sam nodded and then she heard it. There was the faint sound of voices in the distance.
“Draco!” Sam yelled and ran off in the direction of the sound.
“Wait!” Professor Knight called but she wouldn’t stop. She had to find Draco and help him.
As she was running through the woods getting closer to the sound, she heard simultaneous yells of “Expellarimus”. She emerged from the trees to find herself standing meters away from the edge of a cliff. Draco and Lucius were standing in front of her, now wandless. They stood glaring at each other and Sam was frozen with fear.
“You would betray our goals and our plans for her!” Lucius yelled pointing at Sam.
“They were your goals and your plans! You never asked me if I wanted any part in it!” he yelled back.
“We’ll see how you feel about that once she’s gone,” his father said and turned to grab Sam.
Sam screamed and Draco shouted, “Leave her alone!”
He charged after his father. When they collided it was with abject horror that Sam watched them both plunge over the edge. She ran towards the edge of the cliff screaming, “Draco!”
The professors came running out of the trees and Professor Knight pulled her back away from the edge. Sam wrestled with the woman for a moment before eventually turning to sob into her cloak. The other two men went to look over the edge.
“There’s something down there,” Snape said and Sam cried harder than ever, “It looks like a body but I can’t tell which one it is though.”
“Help!” someone called and Sam recognized the voice.
She ran back to the edge and called looking over, “Draco, where are you? Are you alright?”
“I landed on a ledge hidden by the cliff,” Draco called up to her and she cried with relief.
“We’re coming. Stay where you are,” Dumbledore said and conjured a rope.
A week later they were back at school and everyone knew about what had happened. Draco’s mother was now in Azkaban for attempted murder and kidnapping and his father had died from injuries sustained from falling over the cliff. It seemed like a suiting end. They discovered by questioning Draco’s mother that she and Lucius had chased Sam’s mother eight years ago out onto that cliff where she fallen to her death.
There was no hiding Draco’s involvement in the events that took place that night. Most of the Slytherins were no longer speaking with Draco these days but he didn’t care. The only person’s opinion that mattered to him was Sam’s.
They walked hand in hand together now through the halls of Hogwarts daring those around them to challenge their relationship. No one said anything though as the other houses came to gradually accept the new Draco. Even Harry, Ron and Hermione were finding a way to get along better with their one time enemy. Sam knew they wouldn’t be friends overnight or maybe even ever but it was a start. With a little time and persuasion who knows what could happen.
Draco and Sam were sitting alone together one day in the quidditch stands after practice. The Slytherins had wanted to kick Draco off the team but Snape wouldn’t allow it and Draco refused to give in and quit. Sam had stayed to watch the practice and afterwards he climbed up to sit with her before going inside.
They were sitting quietly snuggled together against the cold when he suddenly asked her, “When you found out what I did to Professor Knight, why did you defend me to your father?”
“I don’t know,” she said looking up into his face, ”Something in my heart just told me that you weren’t capable of murder.”
“What if you had been wrong?”
“But I’m not perfect.”
“You don’t have to be. I love you anyway,” she said and leaned in to gently kiss his lips.
A/N: Well that's it folks! I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to let me know what you thought. Oh and did you notice that the scene on the cliff edge matches my banner? See you after HBP!