Chapter 4 : Misery Business
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Just a few weeks after the very messy breakup, the students were sent home for Christmas. It was without a doubt the worst holiday of Draco’s life. The arguments with his father became more and more frequent, and Draco finally took to leaving the house when his father got home. He’d walk up and down the street, and when that got boring, he’d apparate to the park and walk along the paths there.
He was having trouble getting his mind off the breakup with Hermione, and seeing the many couples sitting together on the park benches, all cuddled up and glowing with happiness, didn’t help. He dreamed about what the holiday would have been like if he hadn’t gave in to Blaise, or if he hadn’t even written the song at all. He had been sifting through his trunk on Christmas Eve, looking for the present he’d gotten for his mother, when he’d found the parchment bearing the lyrics to that accursed song. He’d glared at it in utter rage, torn it into a thousand pieces, and thrown it into the fire.
He tried his best to forget it all, to just block the entire event out, but the memory of how stupid he’d been always found a way to push itself to the front of his mind. The pain and anger was nearly unbearable, and he would have started using again, if it hadn’t been for the persistent reminder that Hermione definitely wouldn’t want him back if he did.
His father’s repetitive nagging didn’t help matters. On the night before Draco’s return to Hogwarts, the argument got out of hand, and Lucias sent his son back to school with a blackened right eye and a fractured wrist, which Lucias forbid Narcissa to heal, and which Draco did not know the spell for. It would have to wait for Madam Pomfry’s knowledge and expertise.
Before he could make his trip to the hospital wing, however, Draco had to endure another awkward dinner at the Slytherin table. Since the incident with Blaise before Christmas, Draco hadn’t spoken to his old friend once. Matt tried several times to bridge the gap, but soon gave up, deciding that there was no way to fix this one.
Jonas Scavo didn’t seem to notice the change until several days after the event. When he asked for an explanation, Draco shrugged him off. Blaise, however, obliged. The news that Draco had blown off his friends for the Mud-Blood Granger spread like wildfire through the Slytherin dormitories. Now that it was out, they had all disowned him. He’d dropped so low on the Slytherin’s “Untouchables” list that now one even seemed to want to waist the smallest wisp of a glare on him.
And by some unknown leak, it spread to the rest of the school. At first, the other students looked at Draco as though he wasn’t completely evil. Then they heard about what he’d done to upset Hermione, and things went back to the way they always had been, with the added bonus of being shunned by every member of the Slytherin House.
As he sat through dinner alone that night, Draco ignored whispers and glares from his house mates. He was the first to leave the Great Hall, and the only disappointed faces he saw were those of fellow Slytherins who weren’t through glaring at him. He waited in the Entrance Hall while the other students began to clear out. At long last, he watched Madam Pomfry pass. He followed her up the grand staircase and down the hall. When they at last reached an empty corridor, he called out.
“Excuse me, Madam Pomfry?” Draco said. She turned to face him, slightly startled as though she hadn’t know he was following her.
“Mr. Malfoy?” she asked, bewildered. “Good heavens, boy. You’ll scare an old woman to death like that.”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. I was only wondering if you could take a look at my wrist?”
“Whatever is the matter—good gracious!” Draco had raised his swollen, bruised wrist for her to see. She clasped a hand over her heart. “Dear boy, what happened?”
“It was an accident. Slipped on some ice,” he lied easily. He wasn’t going to bring up the situation with his father to anyone, least of all a staff member. “I didn’t know the spell, and didn’t want to make it worse, so I thought I’d wait till I got back to school and you could do it properly.”
“Yes, yes, of course. Come with me, please,” she said, glancing wearily at the wrist. She led him up to the Hospital Wing. The lamps lit with a flick of her wand, and the same motion brought the fire roaring into life. Madam Pomfry motioned towards a bed. Draco sat and she took his wrist lightly. “Let’s look at the damage, shall we?”
Draco winced slightly as she examined the injury. She looked thoughtful for a moment, then tapped his wrist lightly with her wand. Most of the pain receded immediately, but he was stilled bruised and slightly swollen. Madam Pomfry conjured a roll of bandages out of thin air and began to wrap his wrist up tightly.
“Just leave this on for two or three days while it finishes healing and then it’ll be good as new,” she said.
“Thank you, ma’am,” Draco replied, and then he left the Hospital Wing for the head dorms.
When he reached the common room, there was no sign of Hermione anywhere. Draco spared the right hand staircase a feeble passing glance before continuing up the stairs to his own dorm. He flopped down on his bed without changing and let out a weary sigh. He stared at the dark canopy for several hours before drifting off into an uneasy sleep in which Hermione’s face haunted his dreams.
Draco walked down the crowded street, the cold merciless wind biting at his face as he pushed his way through the crowd. The crowd parted, giving way to a sight that made his blood run cold. There sat Hermione wrapped tightly in the embrace of Blaise Zabini. The noise and bustle of those around him seemed to fade away as he took in the painful sight before him. Hermione, now sitting in Blaise’s lap, showered Blaise with feather soft kisses that Draco believe should have belonged to him.
There was shouting; Ron and Harry’s voices were ringing in his ears, growing louder with every second. He tried to run, to get away from the terrible ache causing every muscle in his body to scream with rage at Blaise. It felt as thought he were walking on air, getting no closer to bringing Hermione back to him. The voices grew louder, becoming unbearable. Draco collapsed on to the ground, his hands pressed tightly over his ears, begging it to stop.
The many voices became one—that of his father. Draco stood and turned, for the voice was not inside his head, but from Lucius himself. Lucias took a step towards his son, taunting him with the words, “She’s done with you.” He raised his wand, and green light flooded Draco’s vision.
His eyes flew open and he sat up, breathing heavily and drenched in cold sweat. His father’s voice echoed in his head. She’s done with you. He ran a hand over his face, sweeping his soaked hair out of his eyes, and pulled back the curtains of his four-poster. The early-morning sunlight was streaming in through the window, creating odd patterns on the stone floor. Draco glanced at the clock; it was after six. He had less than an hour before breakfast, and he had already missed part of his rounds.
He remained in an uneasy slump the rest of the morning, sitting alone in every class with his dream playing repeatedly through his mind. At lunch, Draco sat alone at the Slytherin table, avoiding his housemates’ stares and attempting to block out the whispered insults that echoed around him. He ate little, simply picking at his food and having no appetite.
Finally tired of being glared at by the entire student body, Draco stood from the table and left the castle, heading out onto the grounds where he planned to spend his free period.
At the Gryffindor table, Ron Weasley sat finishing his lunch and listening as Harry, Seamus, and Dean sat arguing over whether or not Ireland still had a chance at the World Cup this year.
“I’m telling you, they’ve got the strongest offense there is,” Seamus was saying.
“Yeah, but their defense is weak,” Dean countered. “One game against a decent team and they’re toast!”
“Not to mention their seeker!” Harry added.
“Exactly! Harry could out play him, and he’s had half the experience!”
To his right, Lavender and Parvati sat discussing the latest bit of gossip. Ron caught bits and pieces of their conversation between the continued out bursts of Dean and Seamus’s argument.
“I don’t blame her. He is the most gorgeous of all the Slytherins,” Lavender was saying.
“Too bad he turned out to still be a complete jerk,” Parvati added.
“I’d still date him. That is, if he weren’t an outcast now.”
“Dating him would be social suicide.”
They’d sparked Ron’s curiosity. He leaned towards them, putting his back to the quidditch debate—something he rarely did.
“What are you lot on about?” he asked. Parvati tossed him a conversation-with-you-is-below-me glare, but Lavender obliged happily.
“Oh, just how Hermione Granger was so lucky to have gotten Draco Malfoy,” she replied.
“Well, at least until he wrote that song about her…” Parvati interjected. “Again, I don’t blame her for being upset. If someone called me their dirty secret, I’d being upset as well.”
“Yes, I suppose…” Lavender mumbled. “What do you think, Won-Won?”
But Ron was already half way across the entrance hall, heading out onto the grounds in search of Malfoy.
Draco headed off towards one of the trees by the lake. He set down his bag, and walked over to the lake, tossing a few pebbles into the water.
Draco turned to see Ron Weasley coming towards him. Ron’s bag dropped to the ground, followed by his robes as he withdrew his wand. He stopped an arm’s length away from Draco, the tip of his wand digging rather painfully into the Slytherin’s throat.
“Move and I’ll hex you into next month,” Ron growling, glaring hatefully into Draco’s eyes. They stayed like this for a few long moments, Draco feeling the heat of pure loathing radiating from Ron’s fierce gaze.
In a flash, Ron had thrown down his wand, drawn back his fist, and let the punch fly, making contact with Draco’s jaw. He stumbled back in shock, his hand coming up to cover his face and feeling his skin burn. Ron attacked again, breaking Draco’s wrist along with his nose.
“How dare you break her heart!” Ron screamed, shoving the Slytherin onto the ground and aiming kick after painful kick at the boy’s ribs. “You nasty little—” Another kick, followed by another. Blood was caked on Draco’s face, his nose and wrist throbbing, along with his ribs.
By this time, a rather large crowd had formed around the boys, watching in awe of the scene before them. Finally satisfied with the pain he’d inflicted upon the blonde boy, Ron ceased his attacking. He glared down at Draco for a moment before reaching down and pulling him up by his hair. “Stay the bloody hell away from her!” his hissed before throwing Draco back onto the ground. He spat on the ground before the pitiful pulp and turned sharply on his heel, heading back towards the castle.
The crowd parted momentarily to let Ron past, then molded together again. Draco could feel the warm blood on his face. He needed to get up, to get inside, but he couldn’t get his body to obey him. His ribs burned from Ron’s torturous onslaught. He knew the others were staring at him, he could hear their whispers, feel their eyes boring into him. And just when he thought he’d have to endure their judgmental gazes forever, the crowd parted and someone approached him.
It was Matt. He kneeled next to Draco and took in the sight quickly, sighing.
“Come on, mate,” Matt mumbled, helping Draco carefully to his feet. He pulled one of Draco’s arms around his shoulder, and then picked up his friend’s bag before the two of them pushed their way through the crowd toward the castle. They met no one in the entrance hall, and only a few Hufflepuff first years in the fourth floor corridor. It wasn’t until they reached the sixth floor, which housed the hospital wing, that they met a teacher.
Professor Bloodbane was leaving the staff room on his way back to his office when he met the boys. By this time, Matt was struggling to support Draco’s weight, and it would be a miracle if they reached the hospital wing without collapsing.
“What happened?” Bloodbane asked, hurrying over to wrap Draco’s other arm around his own shoulders, taking some of the weight off of Matt.
“There was…erm, an incident on the grounds,” Matt explained.
Draco didn’t know what surprised him more about Matt—the fact that he was helping him, or that he wasn’t ratting Weasley out. Both were now considered very un-Slytherin-like, and yet both felt right. Some how, it didn’t seem right to tell Professor Bloodbane what Ron had done. It was almost as though Draco knew it wasn’t the Gryffindor’s fault. After all, hadn’t the reason behind Ron’s attack been caused by Draco’s own stupidity and lack of judgement.
It all came back to that doltish song that had proved to be nothing but misery business thus far. In truth, he had no one to blame but himself.
Professor Bloodbane accompanied the boys to the hospital wing, never once attempting to question them further as to what exactly had taken place.
When Madame Pomfry had fixed Draco up, she showed both boys to the door, all the while remarking on how often Draco seemed to be turning up in her office.
Matt accompanied Draco down to the dungeons for that afternoon’s double potions. The first few floors found the boys wrapped in an uncomfortable silence, neither sure of what they should say. Matt was the first to break that silence.
“Are you still writing?” he asked, not looking up. Draco glanced at him, wondering why—of all the possible subjects—Matt had chosen music. Of course, the explanation was obvious—music was all Matt ever thought about.
“No,” Draco replied, turning his eyes back down to the floor. He shifted his bag to his other shoulder, wincing as the weight hit his still-sore wrist. He glanced quickly back up at Matt, and his heart sank a little. His friend looked disappointed.
“Oh…that’s too bad. You always were a great writer.”
Silence. It weighed over them in eerie thickness as they reached the second floor.
“Are you guys still going for Battle of the Bands?” Draco finally asked, unable to stand the utter silence any longer.
“Yeah, I guess. Blaise is still pushing towards it, anyway. He thinks we’ve got a chance at winning it. We might have, before you left. Jonas just isn’t what he used to be…”
Draco looked up in shock. “You’ve got Jonas back in?”
“Yeah, don’t ask me why. He’s no better than he was back then. And Blaise’s writing is worse than it’s ever been.”
That didn’t surprise Draco a bit. Blaise had always been a terrible writer. It had nearly driven him insane when they started writing “Rock Star”. But there was one thing he didn’t understand…
“Why don’t you write something? I mean, you wrote most of ‘Animals’, didn’t you? It was great.”
“That’s just it. I did write something. Blaise said it was the stupidest thing he’d ever read.” Matt’s face darkened as he recalled the whole scene.
“Do you have it with you?” The words came out with little consideration on Draco’s part. He was slightly shocked when Matt nodded and pulled a roll of parchment from his bag, offering it to him. Their pace slowed slightly as Draco read the lyrics in his hand. He looked up suddenly, his expression not a notch below utter seriousness. “I’ve got news for you, mate,” he said. “Blaise is a dolt.” Matt grinned. “This is bloody brilliant.”
“Thanks,” Matt replied, taking the parchment and putting it back in his bag. They had reached the door to the dungeons. Students were coming in from the grounds, heading back to classes. Blaise and Jonas were making their way over to Matt. “Draco, I—”
“It’s alright, mate. I’ll be fine,” Draco cut in. Matt watched his friend blend into the crowd heading down to the dungeons, and then moved off to meet up with Blaise and Jonas.
**Chapter Title credit to Paramore. "Misery Business" is an amazing song. You should listen to it sometime!!!! :D
PLEASE READ AND REVIEW!!!!!! :D
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