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Chapter 5 : Entry Five
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"Good day, miss. This is the disclaimer police. We were called to arrest you for not using a disclaimer for your story."
"This is the disclaimer."
November 21st, 1997
I just about chucked you down the toilet today. You didn’t fit, so I was forced to keep you. I’m tired of writing down everything that goes on in my life, because it gets more and more confusing when I write my thoughts on paper. I actually read through what I’ve written so far, and I am utterly disappointed in myself. I have screwed up in several areas, one including being faithful to my master. Sure, I’ve done as promised and found out what I need to know about the Weasel girl, but I’ve faltered from believing everything he says and does is right. I’ve found so many flaws in what he does, yet here I am under his rule. Is that normal? Is it expected? Am I fulfilling my duties as a Malfoy?
That reminds me—I haven’t heard from Mum is quite some time. She sent me a letter the day after term started to check that I had made it here, but nothing else has been sent my way since. I wonder if everything is alright on her end. I know she was upset about father being in Azkaban, but that was many months ago, years even. She’s been able to cope fairly well.
I hope she hasn’t been sent to Azkaban, too. That would just leave me here alone, and I don’t like to be the only Malfoy. Sure, I prefer to be independent, but not when it comes to family. My mother is the only one who actually cares about what I think. Maybe it’s a woman thing; they tend to always have a little bit more space in their heart for people than men do. That’s certainly true with my father; he’s never had a place for me.
I think that I’ll send her a letter soon, see what’s going on. I need to ask if I can come home for Christmas holiday, anyway, so I might as well.
Since I last wrote, things have been all the more twisted in a knot. Zabini has been getting on my last nerve with his nagging. Pansy has been throwing jealous insults my way at every chance she gets—I’m not sure which is worse: the insults, or the flirting like she did before.
I haven’t talked to Granger since I yelled at her. In fact, I haven’t been able to so much as look in her direction for fear of seeing the same expression again that has taken over my mind over the past few weeks. However, I was able to get hold of the prefects’ contact information. Knowing that I had just as much of a right to them as Granger did, I wasn’t doing anything wrong when I stole them from her bag one evening. She had gone up to her dorm without her things almost every night since I last talked to her. It’s strange how it’s had such a huge effect on her. I suppose it’s had a huge effect on me, too, for that face never leaves my mind. I don’t know why it’s been bothering me so much. I guess I’ve realized just how cruel I can be.
The Dark Lord would be proud, but I’m not so sure if I care for his praise anymore. I’ll still be a faithful follower, or at least pretend that I am. I’ll do what he asks, but I might not relish in his approval anymore. I don’t know why this change has happened to me, but, for some reason, I’m not too disturbed by it. I actually feel free of baggage. It’s okay to let loose a few burdens every now and then, isn’t it?
The information I gathered from Ginny Weasley’s profile really proved beneficial to my task. I memorized what classes she had and when, what she liked to do in her spare time, and when she had prefect duties.
I’m thinking that I should start planning how I’ll go about kidnapping her now. The sooner I get it over with, the sooner I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I have the easy job—sending her to the Dark Lord. However, I know that I will be much more respected by my master once I hand her over to him. Though I wouldn’t care for his praise, I would at least be trusted a bit more; maybe I wouldn’t be in as much danger.
Unfortunately, something gave me second thoughts about the whole kidnapping thing a little over a week ago. Zabini revealed to me information that somewhat scared me and made me question what I really believed was right to do.
We were outside by the lake having a snowball fight. It had begun snowing a few weeks ago, and the snow was packed and perfect for play. It felt quite relaxing to participate in something as innocent as a snowball fight. It was a time where I really did appreciate the fact that I had friends. Probably the only time I enjoy Crabbe and Goyle is during the game, because they are quite amusing to watch when they get pelted with snowballs, especially since they never realize they’ve been hit until ten seconds later. They’re great barriers to hide behind, too, because they’re so huge.
After we finished a handful of rounds (I won more than half of them, of course), we took a short break to catch our breath. I magicked us a few benches to sit on and performed heating spells on all of us to stay cozily warm while out in the freezing cold of the day.
Once seated, Zabini stretched and yawned, “This was worth it, wasn’t it, Draco?”
I watched the other students outside having their own snow wars. I spotted Potter and his crowd nearby. They were quite serious about the game, for each team had a few large forts full of mounds and mounds of pre-packed snowballs. From what it looked like, they were playing boys against girls, and, strangely enough, the girls had the upper hand. Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown were currently showering Seamus Finnigan with snow, making him fall to the ground many times over. Weasley was sent to the ground due to his sister’s dead-on aim…his sister…the one I’m supposed to take away from them soon…
“What’s so interesting?” asked Zabini, taking my attention away from the Gryffindors.
“Potter just got clobbered by his girlfriend.”
“You were watching them?”
“Well,” I reasoned, “Frankly, they’re rather hard to miss.” I added to make him feel better, “And I enjoy seeing the scarhead and his lot get thrown to the ground.”
He took to watching them for a moment, too. “Yeah, that’s quite entertaining.”
He sighed happily, “And to think…one of them won’t be playing ever again soon enough.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, clearly confused. Weaslette’s time spent with her friends would just be dormant for a while, not completely abolished, would it?
“What do you mean? Honestly, Draco, what do you think I mean?” he chuckled. His laugh creeped me out.
“Once she’s docked from the list, they’ll be so miserable!” He was cackling this time. I was reminded of the time that I visited my father in Azkaban a year ago. There had been a man a few cells down who was completely out of his mind, giggling madly about Merlin-knows-what.
“What’s wrong, Draco? Worried about a blood traitor being killed? It happens all the time now.” He grinned in malice. “No worries.”
Oh, mother of Merlin—did he mean what I thought he meant?
“You mean,” I gulped, trying to keep my voice in check. “You mean Weaslette will die?"
He gave me a skeptical look. “Of course. Didn’t you know? Why would the Dark Lord let her live? He’ll lure Potter to him, than dispose of her. What else would he do? You didn’t think that he’d actually spare her, did you? That’d be ridiculous!”
I just nodded and chuckled with him, but on the inside, I was completely disturbed. I hadn’t thought about what her fate would be once I turned her over to my master. How silly of me to even consider that she might survive! The Dark Lord isn’t merciful to the enemy, nor is he normally merciful to his followers.
I shivered again. This time, Blaise noticed.
“What’s up with you, Draco? You’re shaking like a madman.”
You’re the madman, Blaise.
I made up a lie. “I-I think the heating spell wore off.” He looked at me, and I knew that he didn’t believe what I said, but he didn’t say anything else about it.
I forced myself to turn my gaze back at Potter’s war. I watched Weasley’s sister the whole time as she enjoyed herself immensely. She had no idea what was going to happen to her. I watched as Potter scooped her up in his arms and kissed her before their group trudged back up the hill to the castle. Her brother came up beside her and gave her a pat on the back; I assumed that the girls had won the snowball war. Granger seemed quite happy, as well, and the two girls chatted their mouths off all the way up to castle. Ginny Weasley was having such a wonderful time with her friends, the people I have hated for such a long time that I can hardly remember not hating them.
And yet, as I watched them together, I couldn’t help but feel a bit anxious. Ginny Weasley had never done anything to me. She was innocent of everything, except the fact that she was a traitor to the pureblood name. Well, there was also the nasty bat-boggy hex she sent at me in fifth year…that’s all she had against her, though.
I have to take the girl away from her wonderful life. I have to rid her of her happiness, of her joy, of her love. Love—I still don’t understand it. How is anyone able to love another? Love anything?
Now, I’m curious (and terribly off subject, mind). How does it feel to love someone? I know I’ll never know firsthand, but there’s no harm in wondering about it. Some say that people can fall in love at first sight. I’d say that’s just lust. Even I have lusted before. I am human, after all, and being a male just intensifies things all the more. There’s nothing wrong about lusting, is there? As long as I don’t get carried away, than everything is fine. I think it’s ridiculous that anyone actually focuses on one person that they lust for, though. Why would someone settle for one when they can open their eyes to every tempting specimen out there? The trick I use when I’m in a relationship with someone is to pretend that you’re faithful to her. I’ve never technically cheated on a girl before, which makes them trust me. I suppose you could say that I cheat with my eyes, instead. I’ve never focused my attention on merely one girl before, and I never intend to do so.
It’s not like my parents have ever focused on just each other. Sure, they’re married, but marriage is simply artificial. I happen to know that my father has had several mistresses during the course of his married life. I don’t know about my mother…she actually might be devoted to my father and my father only. I used to think she had a thing for Snape, but that’s just silly. Maybe it’s a girl thing—they tend to be more emotional, anyway. All the girls I’ve had a relationship with have thought I was better than the other guys, so I suppose they were devoted to me for a while—that is, until they realized that I wasn’t devoted to them.
Enough about that; it’s too silly and…un-Malfoy-like. So, back to the real world…
I was forced to talk to Granger last week—twice. The first time, Lupin had asked me to stay for a few minutes after class. I didn’t want to, but I obliged, anyway.
“Mr. Malfoy, thanks for sparing a few minutes with me,” the professor greeted when I came to his desk after the bell had rung, signaling the end of class. I wondered if I was in trouble. Nothing came to mind that I had done wrong recently, other than plot to kidnap a student and send her to her dying day—but he couldn’t possibly have known about that.
“No problem, sir,” I replied. I didn’t want to be snobby toward him just incase I was in trouble for whatever unknown reason.
It turned out that I wasn’t in trouble, but I was given something to think about.
“Draco, I have an offer to make,” he announced, making sure no stranglers were left in the room. I turned around and noticed that Granger was still present, waiting at her desk patiently. I guessed that she needed to ask a question of Lupin, like she always did with teachers after class. I could just see her now—“Professor, I think that there was a mistake in the chapter we read for homework. It said that Grassfoot was born in 12 AD, where as in Dark Arts of the Ages, he as recorded as being born a year before. Is there an error?” Only she asked questions like that.
“What is it, sir?” I asked politely. I noted that Lupin didn’t mind that Granger was in earshot.
The professor sighed, leaning on his desk. “As you know, the war is raging on.” I nodded; he continued, “And I believe you were offered safety by the late Headmaster last term. Unfortunately, he isn’t here to see to it that the offer’s taken care of, so we’re doing it for him.”
I could see where this was going—they’re offering me safety within their Order! As if I’d ever want safety.
He leaned forward and said, concerned, “You don’t have to take up this offer, but it’d give you safety among numbers. You don’t have to continue living a dangerous life. We’re here to help you. So,” he cleared his throat, “feel free to come to me or your headmistress if you want or need any help.”
“Thanks, sir, but I…”
“We’re here anytime, so don’t be shy,” he said in a friendly, warm tone. I didn’t know what to say. It’s not like I could tell him, “Sorry, werewolf, but I’m a death eater, and I’m supposed to send an innocent girl to her death,” could I?
I decided to simply be polite. “Thanks, but no thanks, sir. I’m better off on my own.”
“If you ever need—”
I stopped him. “I’ll keep it in mind,” I lied. He seemed satisfied, so I said good bye and turned my back on him. I wish I hadn’t, for I had come face to face with Granger. After seeing me start to leave, she knew it was her turn with the teacher. One look in her eyes told me she was still hurt. Thankfully, I was able to turn my gaze before I did anything stupid.
Once outside the classroom, I realized that I was alone. No one occupied the corridor. I wondered why that was for a moment, but I soon remembered—this was the last class of the day. Of course, no one would still be in the halls. They would be in their common rooms or eating an early meal in the Great Hall.
With a sinking feeling in the region of my stomach, I remembered the rule that states that no one may walk about the castle alone. That left me with no choice but to wait for Granger and walk with her. I dreaded her arrival, for I knew it would be the most unbearably silent walk back to the common room I’ll have ever had.
Soon enough, my dread departed from the classroom. She glanced at me for one moment, than began to walk down the hall. She suddenly halted after a few meters and slowly turned back round.
“We have to walk back to the common room together,” I muttered, knowing she knew why. It felt weird saying anything to her, for I had not done so in weeks. We had assigned us both different posts for rounds, scheduled meetings, and accomplished everything else without difficulty, without any exchange of word.
“Okay,” she said softly. Her voice sounded so feeble, so hurt, that I wished she hadn’t said anything. I would have preferred her to yell at me, injure me, anything but sound so torn. I suppose I’ve got another weakness—sad people.
“Alright,” I answered, leading the way to the Heads’ dormitory. We did not utter a word on our journey, just as I had predicted.
“Foul monster,” I muttered. The portrait opened, and we climbed in. I let Granger in first, because it seemed right to do. I haven’t a clue why I wanted to do the right thing, but I did it, all the same. I suppose my weaknesses make me act differently than normal.
After saying the password, the two words echoed through my mind: Foul monster. Granger had said that she was referring to me when she said that. Even though I ignored it, I was offended by that at the time. Now, I really do feel like I’m a foul monster. I hurt an extremely determined and stubborn someone so badly that they didn’t fight back.
I felt like saying something to her, anything to resolve this mess and go back to quarreling like we used to, but I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have much of a chance, anyway, for she immediately shut herself in he dorm.
I had seen her happy and lively during the snowball fight. I had seen her laugh and talk and have a grand time…but, as soon as I’m in her presence, she’s as depressed as can be. I wonder if she even thinks about it when I’m not around. I tried to convince myself that it was all an act, where her goal was to make me feel insufferably guilty. If that were true, she got what she was aiming for.
I’ve found a way to distract myself temporarily from this—I’ve been working on my assignment. Planning how I’ll go about taking the Weaslette away sends my mind away from everything else. Even though I’m having second thoughts about if I really should carry out the plan, I know it must be done.
Zabini hasn’t been helping me, though. He just makes me want to forget the task altogether and just let the Dark Lord make me suffer. All he does is remind me that I’m procrastinating and bring me down for doing so.
Just today, I lost my temper with him. It was quite embarrassing, considering it was in the middle of the courtyard with everyone watching us quarrel.
“Draco, he’s growing impatient. He needs the job done as soon as possible.”
“I know, I know. It’s not as if you haven’t been telling me the same thing for the past month, or anything.”
Blaise obviously disapproved of my rude behavior. What did I care? He can be disappointed with me all he wants. However, I was getting nervous because of the Dark Lord’s disappointment. Disappointing him means worse consequences for me than disappointing Blaise.
However, in disappointing Blaise, the Dark Lord is disappointed.
Blaise shook his head. “I just don’t get it. Why aren’t you getting this over with? You could have done it anytime! Have you even been spying on her yet? This is really bad, Draco. You’d better get yourself together, man.”
My temper was rising too rapidly for me to control it. “Zabini,” I hissed a little above a whisper, “Just for the record, I have spied on the girl. I know where she goes, when she goes where—bloody everything. I know it all. Just give me time, alright?”
He stepped towards me, hissing in the same manner, “You don’t have time, don’t you see? The Dark Lord is impatient, and when he’s impatient, he’s angry. And when he’s angry, he’s not merciful.”
“He’s not exactly merciful, anyway, is he?”
Blaise grabbed hold of my collar, seething, “Don’t joke about the Dark Lord, Malfoy. Don’t you dare.”
I shoved him away from me; he landed on the ground with a thump. When he glared up at me, I knew I was in for it. But I wasn’t scared of him. Why would I be? I could take him on any day of the week.
“What’s wrong with you?” he yelled. “What’s gotten into you lately? Your task should be your top priority!”
At this time, many heads turned and looked our way.
I tried to speak in a controlled manner, but it was obviously forced. “Nothing is wrong with me, Blaise. But there’s definitely something wrong with you. Since when did you ever pick a fight with me?”
That set him off. He jumped up from his position on the ground and threw a punch at my face. I blocked it just in time, but it definitely left a nasty bruise on my arm.
“You think you’re so high and mighty,” he growled in a voice too low to be his normal one. “You think you’re on top of the world, don’t you?” He threw another punch, but I blocked it once more; that seemed to make him all the angrier. “You think the world revolves around you and your ego. You think everything should be done in your favor, with you in mind.” Another punch and block. “You’re nothing but a self-centered narcissist.”
I was surprised that he said such things. Since when have I been self-centered? Well…I suppose I do think rather highly of myself, but doesn’t everybody?
“Take that back, Zabini,” I whispered, grabbing hold of his collar and raising him up high from the ground. I smirked as a wave of fright glazed his eyes for a moment then faded away.
He tried to pull my hands away from his shirt, but to no avail. I had complete control over him and the fight he induced. I love being in control.
However, I lost my power over him when I saw over his shoulder who it was that stood some thirty feet behind him.
But seeing her wasn’t what triggered my lack of control. It was the expression on her face, the same hurt expression I had seen after my yelling at her, the expression that had been haunting me ever since.
And I let go of him. I let his punch make contact with my cheek. I let myself be thrown to the ground and spat upon. I let myself lie there after Zabini had his say and left victorious. I let myself sink to inferiority; I let myself lose the battle.
All because of her.
I don’t know how long I lied there. It could have been hours. I didn’t notice when the crowd subsided. I didn’t even notice that Granger still stood in the same place, still had the same expression sent my way.
I was tired of her actions eating away at my mind. Even as I lied there with my eyes closed, my mind shut to the world, I still saw that face with that imperfection falling down her cheek.
I don’t know when I finally opened my eyes. But when I did, there was Granger towering above me.
“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered. I realized that it wasn’t an order, nor was it at all negative. It wasn’t a plea, nor was it a complaint. It was simply a question. I wasn’t asking her to leave; I was asking her why she stayed. A sudden realization popped up in my mind:
I didn’t actually want her to leave.
I pulled myself up from the ground and brushed off my robes. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel very much pain from the injuries Zabini inflicted upon me. No blood had surfaced; only bruises remained.
I turned my gaze from the ground and my eyes locked with Granger’s. It was an odd thing…I’d never truly looked into her eyes before. They were very unique, to tell you the truth. What stood out most, I haven’t a clue how I knew, was that her eyes were more concerned than they were hurt. Her expression wasn’t haunting anymore. In fact, it was, dare I say, comforting.
What I did next blew my mind. What I did next was something I had never done before, something that I had never intended to do for as long as I lived.
I apologized to her.
I apologized to Hermione Granger. Strange as it was, it hadn’t been as hard to do as I had thought. Once the words left my lips, I felt as if an elephant-weighted burden had been lifted from my shoulders that I had not known was there in the first place.
I can actually be good to someone, even someone I hated.
At that moment, she smiled. Though she had smiled before in my presence, it felt to me like the first time I’d ever seen her do it. I felt like I was seeing her in a new light. She wasn’t just a know-it-all mudblood. She was a person, someone with a heart, someone…pleasant.
Before I knew it, she began laughing. Her laugh was so jovial, so full of life. It was almost something to be envious of. Once again, that odd feeling erupted inside me. It was very strange, just as it always was when I felt it. Still, it was very tingly. Still, it made no sense to me at all. It was still the same, but there was one difference this time:
It suddenly didn’t seem so bad.
Before I could stop myself, I laughed with her. I hadn’t laughed, truly laughed, in what seemed like a lifetime (and it may have been). I’m not sure if I’ve ever laughed like that before. And there was absolutely nothing funny about what was going on! And yet, it seemed right to laugh just then. By doing so, it released so much stress from inside me that I couldn't believe.
Soon, our laughter died away. Granger was still smiling though.
She held out her right hand.
I hesitated. If I shook her hand, I would be going against everything I believed in. If I made that one move, I would be a disgrace to my family, a blood traitor. I heard a familiar voice in my head telling me not to do it.
She’s a mudblood, scum to the earth. Don’t be stupid.
I often heard this voice whenever I had a choice to do one thing or something else. It was my decision factor, and I always listened to it and took the voice’s advice.
Don’t be stupid.
I began to move my hand forward, but drew back.
Don’t be stupid. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be stupid.
Screw this. I can be stupid if I want to be.
Her smile grew wider, if that was even possible. I smiled, too, for I couldn’t help it. We didn’t say a word when we walked to the common room together. Unlike last time, the silence wasn’t unbearable; it was understood and accepted.
For the remainder of the afternoon, we just talked. It was different than anything I’d ever done before, because I had been taught to only talk about important things or only if there’s a valid reason to say something. With Granger, those childhood rules were thrown down the drain. We discussed all sorts of things, from how boring Professor Binns is to our favorite ice cream flavors. In one afternoon, I knew more about Granger than I had known for the six years since I met her.
She has no siblings—though she tried to convince me that her ugly cat, Crookshanks, was her brother—, and her parents are still together. They are both muggles and are what she called dentists, or, as she put it, tooth doctors; when I asked what doctors were, it took her a while to quit laughing. She was too busy laughing that she never got around to telling me what they were.
She told me a great deal about the muggle world. I was surprised just how fascinating it was. They’re actually pretty smart, muggles, considering the fact that their life is deprived of magic.
I don’t know how this happened, really. One minute, I hate her, and the next…well, I’m not sure if we’re really friends. I have accepted that muggleborns aren’t so bad, after all, but I’m not sure why I’ve accepted it so fast. It may have been a gradual thing. I mean, ever since Granger had asked why blood should matter, I was never able to give her an answer, nor was I able to give myself an answer. Now, I still don’t have an answer because there isn’t one—blood doesn’t matter.
Do you hear that father? Blood doesn’t matter.
I’m a Malfoy, and yet I don’t really feel wholly one anymore. It’s so odd how one thing changed so much for me. I felt like I’m in a totally different world than I was in before, so different, it seemed unreal.
And it was unreal. Reality was forced back upon me when I read the letter that waited for me in my room that night. It was from Snape.
Dear Daniel Malcolm,
I hope all is going well at school and everything is being taken care of, as always. Our friend, Luke Venable, expresses his concerns for your health in the most ardent way. He is worried that you may fall short and fall ill due to your condition, as am I; dear Bruce has given us a nasty report.
I do not wish to make your condition any worse by revealing to you the following ill news, but I feel that I must pass it on. Your mother had been missing for quite some time, too long for us not to be worried. With a husband not at home to care for her, who knows what obstacles may have come her way? We found where she was located merely hours ago, and we wish for you not to be too saddened by the fact that she has, indeed, passed on. Mr. Venable and I were most unfortunate to witness this tragedy, and we express our utmost sorrow and concern for you, her dear son.
We hope that you continue on with your schooling and deal with your loss with care. We hope to see you as late as the twenty-seventh of December, which is scheduled to be the deceased’s funeral date.
With utmost sincerity,
I couldn’t and still can’t believe it—Mum is gone. The only person who ever truly cared about me is gone. Though the letter was written in code, I got the gist of it. My master killed her, and Snape was there to witness it. The Dark Lord is not a merciful one. He is an insincere, uncompassionate, insensitive, souless lord. I’m not sure where I stand with him anymore. He killed my mother. He killed her.
And he’ll kill me, too, if I don’t follow his orders. I’m stuck with this task that I now realize I don’t wish to complete.
But it’s too late to turn back.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: There's the 5th! How was it? I wish that I had finished writing this before the Deathly Hallows release, because I've been tempted to use some of the story in this...but I have restrained myself and have stuck to my original ideas for these entries. Please REVIEW with any suggestions, comments, praise, critiques, etc. I love to hear what you guys have to say! Check back for the next chapter whenever!
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