Chapter 1 : Hollow Pursuits
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Draco doesnít know how long he has been sitting in front of it. Hours, possibly days even, except he doesnít think it is the latter; because if it is then he would have had to eat by now. Or sleep. But he doesnít particularly want to do either. No, what he wants to do is sit and watch and wait for the bloody mirror in front of him to make up its damn mind already. What he wants is for the stupid piece of glass to stop tormenting him.
Because it is tormenting him, offering him an answer but holding it just out of reach as if he were some sort of amusing three year old. He has the distinct impression that for all he watches the damn thing, it watches him straight back Ė and laughs. It has been laughing at him since he found it, covered in cobwebs, sitting in the dusty, secluded corner of the long lost room. Draco thinks the stupid thing should owe him better than that, since he effectively rescued it from abandonment and disuse. Giving him what he wants, what he needs, is the least it could do.
He sighs as he looks up. It is his father that he sees again, shimmering grandly within the tarnished frame. He likes this image the most because it is familiar to him, despite his never having lived it. Oh, the essence of it is picture perfect from even his earliest memories; the aloof bearing and regal manner. It is the eyes that betray the reality though, for those he has seen only in his dreams.
They are proud.
Not that Draco believes his father is ashamed of him. Lucius Malfoy loves him, dotes on him even. But regardless, Draco has only ever seen a glimmer of that look, normally clouded with innumerable Ďbutís and Ďif onlyís. He has done well, but he could always do better.
The man in the mirror has no such conditions, and Draco tries to ignore the fact that the air behind his father is swarming with shadows.
But then he is gone again. He never stays for long, but he stays for long enough and this may be the only thing that stops Draco. He would have smashed the mirror long ago if not for that and for the fact that glass makes such a coarse and ill-mannered sound when shattered. Malfoys do not smash, he reminds himself with a bitter laugh. Technically, he supposes, Malfoys donít crouch on the dusty, stone floor of forgotten rooms either, but one slip should not be taken as an excuse to allow more. Besides, the stupid thing has yet to answer him, and Malfoys donít leave without answers.
Malfoys, it is beginning to occur to him, donít do a lot of things.
Still, he really does want to smash it, so perhaps he will. When it has made up its mind that is, because now it is showing him the other man.
This one he does not want to see so much.
It is not that he hates the man, despite the fact that there is plenty about him to dislike. What with his hooked nose and pallid, sunken features, his appearance is no more appealing than his personality. But Draco has always admired him, nonetheless. Regardless, seeing the image now disturbs him for reasons that are only just coming to light. There is something about Professor Snape that makes Draco unsure, a niggling feeling that suggests perhaps the man isnít all he claims to be.
Draco has a feeling the man is trying to offer him something different. A way out, perhaps, because Dracoís greatest fear is that he may need just that; because Draco has the growing doubt that murder may not be quite as easy as he had first hoped.
Shuffling backwards until his heels encounter the rough edge of a step, Draco sinks to the floor to sit and wait for the mirror to decide. It has too, after all, and when it does he will not be found wanting.