The lantern swung from his perch on the ceiling; moving back and forth rhythmically, the motion almost reminding the man of a pendulum. Draco looked back up, as the rocking lantern slowly illuminated Harry Potter’s face in tiny increments. With each flash of light, Harry’s look of scorn seemed to intensify as they sat in silence. Draco looked up towards Harry’s eye, where the night before, was an immense black bruise. He healed it with his wand seconds after the dull pale purple hue began to show under his translucent skin.
Draco silently leaned back in the plush oak chair. They were seated in a cheap impromptu interrogation room. Ron silently sat at Harry’s side. Draco assumed he was pondering something important, for his eyes were not involved anymore. Albus Dumbledore sat calmly at Harry’s side; he hadn’t spoken a single word since he entered the room.
Draco almost felt like he had returned to a strange alternate universe. Everyone and everything had changed. When the stunning spell that Harry and George placed on him in New York finally wore off, Draco’s mind responded in awe with a slight air of indifference. He didn’t know what had washed over at him, for he had remained cold and reserved the entire time, until he saw his chance; his chance to his escape.
They had silently dragged him through the cold and quiet streets of Muggle London. They were rounding a corner when his blurred vision caught site of a phone booth. Draco’s mind had returned to the pure look of shock and confusion on Christa’s normally soft face. He just wanted to tell her something, even if it wasn’t the truth, to calm all qualms she possibly could hold into her tiny five foot five frame.
His opportunity came, Harry had entered a tiny dilapidated brick building somewhere in London, leaving Draco with George. Draco remembered his eyes lingering over to George; he was barely awake. His grip around Draco’s arms was a light one and he seemed to be mumbling things to himself to stay awake. Draco assumed the man had not slept in nearly a day. He could easily overpower him, and escape. He’d run and use the phone he had seen two blocks away. With a swift kick to George’s left shin, Draco was gone.
The following events seemed to happen all in a flash. All he could remember was the sound of his short heavy breaths, as he ran. He could also remember the sound of his sneakers splashing in random pools of water residing in the street. He could hear both Harry and George’s footsteps behind him, filling his ears, his mind going completely blank as his body began to act completely on instinct. His mind forgetting the men’s constant reassurances that he would not be going to Azkaban, that he was not being punished, but he couldn’t trust them. Trust made him lose Sam. Trust let him kill Blaise, and trust led him to leave Hermione. He couldn’t buy their bullshit. He could trust no one, feel nothing, and he definitely could not succumb. He was a survivor, a man who acted on his instinct, and attempting to run was completely instinctual and a mistake.
When Draco realized that George and Harry were too close behind him for him to stop at the phone booth, his feet kept moving. He was plowing through the streets, like an uncontained burst of energy, power, and strength. He was zooming; he quickly veered to the left, quickening his pace. He could see no clear destination, as he made his way into a heavily wooded area. Ten yards in, he could feel it. A rising mushiness in the toes of his sneakers, then he could feel the mushy mess on the skin of his calves. He fell forward, his tongue catching a small taste of the gritty and bitter sludge. He could hear heavy heaves, and splashing footsteps before a giant set of arms swooped him up.
Draco could remember his limbs flailing wildly; he couldn’t be caught. He couldn’t meet his father’s fate, and he couldn’t trust them. He turned, throwing blind punches at no one particular. The strong arms continued to wrap about him, he cocked his head slightly to the right; he realized that they belonged to Harry. Harry’s face was flushed a bright red. His fingers were tightly clinched around Draco’s neck, but he couldn’t succumb. He continued flinging his fists about, kicking and punching, trying to get Harry to let go. However, much to Draco’s dismay, Harry was strong. Draco could feel his body slightly go limp in his hands, as Harry’s grip slightly loosened around his neck.
“Don’t ever try to pull another bloody stunt like that one again,” Harry snarled through clenched teeth, he was bent over him, and his hands were still around his neck. “Be grateful I haven’t fucking reported you already you slimy git! If you,” Harry paused, “place one more toe out of line, and I swear you’ll bloody pay you prat! Am I clear, Malfoy?”
Draco looked away from him, afraid to look him in his eyes. Afraid to give him his word, for still after all these years, he still held a high amount of contempt for him. Harry Potter, the golden boy, reduced to grappling an escaped convict down in nearly a foot of mud. Draco looked up at him with weary eyes.
“Clear as crystal,” Draco lied. He flashed Harry his trademark smirk. With an exasperated sigh, Harry finally loosened his grip around Draco and lifted him to his feet. Draco’s eyes met with George’s, before George quickly looked away. Did Draco see pity in his eyes? Did the Weasley actually have the nerve to pity him?
Draco could feel a strange boiling anger rise up from within. He held an anger so deep that caused his fists to clench, his mind to close, and his fury to explode. He turned to Harry, reared back his arm, and sent his fist straight into Harry’s left cheek. Harry let out a sharp groan before falling back in the mud. Draco quickly turned to George, his eyes low, and stuck out his unrestrained arms. George hesitantly muttered a spell binding Draco’s hands together before silently picking up an infuriated Harry from the muddy mess. Draco closed his eyes in shame as they led him back to the road. George had every right to pity him, for Draco was no longer at the top. He was at the bottom, face first in the cesspool, barely deserving the right to live.
Draco opened his eyes; he was back in the makeshift interrogation room in Ron Weasley’s villa. What was he doing? How did he ever end up in such a position? Ten years prior, his former self would have never imagined his destination to be this. Ron Weasley, wealthy and powerful, a Head of a department at the Ministry. Harry Potter, an actual Auror, Draco couldn’t even begin to comprehend how Harry earned enough N.E.W.T’s for such a high level job. Draco could feel a sudden dull ache deep down in his solar plexus as he thought of Hermione. What was she doing? His lips turned upward into a smile, she was amazing. If she put her mind to it, she could possess any high-level job in the western hemisphere.
Harry continued to stare at him, waiting for Draco to speak. He flashed Ron and Dumbledore a strange complacent look, before pushing forward a small flask. His emerald eyes were shimmering feverishly, the swaying lantern casting strange reflections on the dark haired man’s visage. Draco looked down at it, he knew perfectly well, what it was, but he had nothing to hide.
Draco reached for the flask, and downed its entire contents all in one swig. Draco could feel his face contort at the bitterness of the drink as it slid down his throat. He had just ingested an entire flask of a truth potion. Draco closed his eyes as a sweet calming warmth rolled all over his body. He could feel the ball of anger and frustration slightly loosen, the door to his mind had been opened. Harry stared at him long and hard before he finally spoke.
“First off, I would like for you to understand the risk we are taking holding you under our refugee.” Harry’s voice seemed to be hinting at one thing, Draco’s sheer audacity to hit him in the face back in the wood patch, while his face was contorted into a forced smile. Draco’s eyes slowly made their way around the room, his eyes resting on Ron, secretly wishing that he would carry out his promise. All he wanted to do was see Hermione; he cared for nothing else.
“Who do you mean when you say ‘we’?” Draco had uttered the words before he had even thought about it. The truth potion severely hindered his ability to keep his inquiries to himself. Harry, who seemed caught off guard by the question, quickly readjusted the color of his crisp white shirt.
“The Elite. I've apprehended you under the pretenses that you would help us, the Elite,” Harry paused to motion towards Ron and the elderly Headmaster; who both remained silent. Draco wondered why Harry seemed to have more seniority in the interrogation than Professor Dumbledore. “Catch the remaining Deatheaters.” Harry finished.
Draco could feel his heart skip a beat. Throughout the years, he rarely ever thought of the fate of his fellow Deatheaters left behind. He rarely contemplated the consequences of him sending the blazing emblem of the Dark Mark into the starless sky that night. Draco could feel his lips forming another question, but he bit down on his tongue hard. He didn’t want Potter of all people to see him show concern for his acquaintances from the past.
“As you may know, I defeated Lord Voldemort nine years ago. The Aurors at the Ministry of Magic have tracked down all Deatheaters save for eight. That’s where you’ll come in Malfoy,” Harry said thickly. Draco looked up at him with cold gray eyes; he didn’t want to help them.
“However, the Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, has loosened his reigns on the Auror department at the Ministry. He has ignored several warnings of future uprisings of hidden Deatheaters. He wants to believe that the war against the dark arts died with Lord Voldemort. But it did not. The Elite knows what it takes to catch the remaining Deatheaters, and win this war again evil at last. You’re really the only person who could help us.”
“I don’t want to do this,” Draco replied quickly, his lips once again moving more quickly than his mind. Dumbledore’s eyes slightly twinkle as he turned towards Draco and spoke for the first time.
“Draco my boy, we’ve found you for a reason. You’re different from the others, and I’m very much aware you recognize that.” The old wizards voice, even after a decade, sounded the same. As much as Draco hated to admit, the sound of his voice was almost calming.
“I know you did something that night on the Astronomy Tower that you didn’t wish to do,” Dumbledore said softly. Harry and Ron simultaneously lowered their heads, afraid of what Draco might say or do. However, he remained silently, he closed his eyes, fighting the awful memories. He closed his eyes as the sight of Sam’s body slightly slumping to the floor from the corner of his eyes and Blaise throwing him his wand flashing across his eyes. It was all too much; too soon, he couldn’t take it. Draco buried his face in his hands, trying to keep his composure. He felt as if the walls of the room were slightly closing in around him, and these three looming men blocked his only route of escape.
“This is your chance to make things right,” Dumbledore said softly, “To repay your debts to Wizarding society. To clear your name.”
Draco shook his head; his hands were silently tightening into fists, as Dumbledore’s words seeped into his skin like rattlesnake venom. Clear his name. The thought seemed almost ludicrous; his name was blackened for perfectly legit reasons. He was an orphan, he was conniving, and he was a cold-blooded murderer. He could have controlled his anger; he could have turned Blaise in. He could have done the right thing by not even showing up the initiation ceremony. However, he had unknowingly triggered a chain reaction, leaving the only true friend he ever had, aside from Hermione, out of his life forever. Then, on top of Sam’s death, he had to flee Britain, ultimately leaving Hermione behind.
“I let him do it Headmaster. My name cannot be bloody cleared. I am a bad person,” Draco managed to mutter. He could feel his cheeks slightly flush, and the rate of his pulse quicken. Dumbledore folded his hands across his chest and leaned back humbly into his seat.
“You’re not a bad person Draco,” the old man confirmed. However, when most people said this, Draco could tell it was a lie. Nevertheless, for the first time in his life, the old man seemed to be telling him his honest opinion. “You’ve made bad choices, but deep down you are truly a good soul.”
Draco could feel his eyes slightly tear as he locked eyes with the graying wizard. All those years ago, he had tried to help, but his senseless, stupid, and naive former self tried to keep him, and everyone else an arms length away. What could one get into a clenched fist? Barboyle was the only person he had ever let open his clenched fist, what harm would it cause to finally let Dumbledore in as well? Draco could feel his fists slightly go flaccid, his eyes falling from the Headmasters.
“I’ll…”Draco’s voice seemed to falter, he reached up towards his face with a tremulous hand. He, Draco Malfoy, was crying. “I’ll help.”
I know it has been forever but I've had so much schoolwork. Then I’m working at revising The Warmth and writing a new story. I've just been so busy, I didn’t have a lot of time for this story. For a while I thought I wasn’t going to continue this story, but I've changed my mind. So despite that I might not be updating this story for a month or so, please look forward to it returning new and improved by June or so. During the wait you could read my new story Wisps of Silver & Gray. * Wink *
(By the way I have done away with the song lyrics.)