Chapter 9 : Life in Someone Else's Hands
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The sun started to shine through the windows of the Malfoy Manor. The fanciful curtains with green trim barely kept the sunlight out anymore. Draco stirred in bed as the sunlight tried to dance across his face. He finally opened his eyes, figuring he shouldn’t avoid the waking sun any longer. He sat up in bed, stretching his arms as if reaching for the stars. He lifted the covers off himself before stepping out of bed and walking to his bathroom to shower.
After a few minutes of showering, Draco came out squeaky clean. He walked over to his dresser, pulled out a pair of black pants and a black t-shirt, and slid them on. He decided to find Gabriella so he left his room and walked to one of the guest rooms. He found her guest room, but when he opened the door, Gabriella could not be seen. There could only be one other place where she would be.
Gabriella had dressed early that morning and woke her brother so she could talk to him. Now, Gabriella and Goyle sat quietly on the bed of his guest room talking.
“You should have never killed father.” Gabriella said, looking down at the floor with regret.
“It had to be either you or me and I couldn’t let you do it.” Goyle explained.
“But it wasn’t your job!” She yelled at him.
“I know, but you can’t live with that on your conscious.” Goyle expressed his concern.
“But it’s okay if you do?” She questioned, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Yes, because I was far more corrupted before you were. You stalled when it came to killing father, which shows you aren’t too far gone.” He explained as if he had given it a lot of thought.
“We’ll see how far gone I truly am soon enough.” She mentioned.
Goyle furrowed his forehead in confusion. “What is that supposed to mean?” He asked.
Gabriella looked back down towards the ground. “It has to do with the task.” She answered.
“Well, what is it?” He asked stupidly.
Gabriella slapped him on the shoulder and gave him a half-laugh. “You know I can’t tell you.” She responded.
Just then, a knock sounded on the door and Draco entered the room. “I was looking for you.” Draco mentioned, looking at Gabriella.
She seemed slightly coy towards him. “I needed to talk to my brother.” She stated.
Draco nodded. “I get that after what happened yesterday.” He said, glancing at Goyle for a second.
“Well, my father deserved to die.” Gabriella explained.
Draco and Goyle glanced at her because of her sudden change in behavior. “You don’t mean that,” said Draco. “Yes, I know he was an evil man who did terrible things, but he was still your father. A bad father, but you share his blood.” Draco explained.
“If you want to give a speech, then give it to Greg. He’s the one who actually killed father.” She said rudely, acting kind of hostile.
Draco looked as if he were hurt by her words. “I know, but you didn’t have it in you, which is a good thing.” He explained, trying to bring light to the situation.
Gabriella glared at him. “You obviously don’t know me then, because I’m evil and I would have killed him if Greg didn’t step in.” She explained, acting more hostile by the moment.
Draco felt confused by her sudden change in behavior. Goyle also glanced at her for a moment since the conversation he had with Gabriella went way differently. One minute she hated what happened, and the next she acted fine about it. Draco looked to Goyle for answers, but Goyle just shrugged as if he didn’t know. “Gabby. Can I talk to you alone?” Draco asked, trying to come up with a diversion to get her alone.
“If you have something to say to me, it can be said in front of Greg.” Gabriella replied, glaring at Draco more.
Draco looked defeated. “Never mind. We should probably get ready to leave soon.” He said before quietly leaving the room.
Goyle looked at his sister with confusion after Draco left. “Why were you so rude to him?” He asked, feeling the hostility when it was in the room.
“Never mind.” Gabriella ordered.
“Does it have something to do with the task? Tell me.” He asked, demanding to know.
Gabriella sighed and looked at him with serious eyes. “Let’s just say, you always hurt the ones you love.” She explained cryptically.
Goyle’s eyes went wide. “You love Draco?” He questioned.
She sighed again. “We’ll soon find out.” She said.
After awhile, they gathered their belongings and met at the fireplace of the Malfoy Manor. Narcissa Malfoy waited for them, holding a container of Floo Powder. She gave her son a hug with one arm since the Floo Powder kept her other arm preoccupied. “Be careful.” She warned, looking at all of them for a second before extending out her arms with the powder.
Goyle grabbed some of the powder first. The tiny grains of the powder crept out of his fingers as he stepped into the fireplace. “Hogwarts!” He shouted, throwing down the powder. He disappeared in a blaze of green flames. The next two followed closely behind, arriving at the Headmaster’s office at Hogwarts.
Snape had been waiting at his desk and he looked at them upon their arrival. “I see you all have finally returned. Now, get to class,” he ordered them. “Except for Draco.”
Gabriella and Goyle quickly left the Headmaster’s office, descending down the stairs connected to the phoenix statue. Draco stayed behind, his heart beating faster than normal, as he feared he might have another task to perform. Then again, he figured it unlikely since he told Gabriella to not kill her father during the Death Eater meeting.
Snape looked at Draco with his usual emotionless eyes. “Stay away from Gabriella,” he demanded. “Understood?” He questioned, slightly raising one of his dark eyebrows.
Draco felt shocked and confused. “But you told me to keep an eye on her.” He said, complaining slightly.
“Times change,” replied Snape. “I promised your father I would look out for your best interests.”
“Best interests?” Draco thought, as he nodded, figuring it in his best interest to not argue with Snape.
“You may leave now.” Snape stated, looking down at his desk and doing paperwork.
Draco quietly left Snape’s office that had not been earned by Snape, but given to him by Voldemort’s command. Draco walked slowly to the Slytherin common room near the dungeons. After a few minutes, he came face-to-face with the portrait hole so he uttered the password. The portrait hole opened so he stepped inside to see Goyle on their usual sofa, talking to Crabbe. They both looked at Draco as he entered, seeing him look slightly stressed.
“Hey.” Crabbe said.
“Hey.” Draco replied, returning the greeting, but he didn’t sound enthused. He sat between the two as usual, representing his leadership and showing how Goyle and Crabbe were his lackeys. “That was some pretty crazy stuff yesterday back at your manor.” Crabbe mentioned.
Draco nodded, realizing Crabbe had been at the meeting.
“I was just asking Crabbe what he did with my father’s body.” Goyle mentioned.
“What did you do?” Draco asked, wanting to know for Gabriella’s sake.
“Put his body in his bed at home. Made it look like he died in his sleep.” Crabbe replied.
“But we weren’t here at Hogwarts at the time. Someone might realize this.” Draco mentioned, realizing a possible fault in their plan.
Goyle cut in at this point. “Snape never told anyone we left, and I bet they won’t care when they find his body because of all the deaths and missing people,” he explained. “That is if they even discover the body.”
Draco nodded, still feeling stressed about recent events.
Crabbe smiled. “He will start to make the house stink then.” He joked before laughing.
Goyle laughed too, as if he didn’t have any emotions towards his father. Draco rolled his eyes as he became reminded why these two were his lackeys. At this same moment, he noticed Gabriella coming down the stairs from the girls’ dormitory with a backpack on her shoulder. Draco stood up from the sofa and walked to the foot of the stairs, meeting Gabriella as she reached the bottom. “Can I talk to you?” He asked, looking at her.
Gabriella glared at him. “I’m busy. I need to get to Potions.” She responded rudely.
Draco sighed, becoming sick and tired of her attitude. “What has gotten into you?” He asked, wanting to know the reason for her behavior.
She rolled her eyes. “I don’t have time for this.” She said, moving past him and quickly leaving the common room.
Draco sighed again and walked over to the sofa, opposite Goyle and Crabbe. He plopped down, stretching his legs out and looking at Goyle. “What’s up with Gabby?” He asked, hoping her brother would have the answer.
Goyle turned to Draco. “I think it has to do with her task,” he replied. “But don’t worry. She loves you.”
Draco’s eyes went wide for a moment. “Well, she has a funny way of showing it.” He said, lying down on the sofa.
Before he knew it, Draco had dazed off, but he quickly opened his eyes. He woke up due to the excessive noise in the common room. He sat up and looked around to see many students talking and preparing for dinner. Draco turned his gaze to the window and sure enough, it had become dark. He looked around for Goyle and Crabbe, but he didn’t see them so he stood up from the sofa before heading to the Great Hall.
Upon arrival, he walked over to the Slytherin table, noticing Gabriella sitting between Crabbe and Goyle. He sighed as he decided to sit across from them. They didn’t even notice him as he sat down, which didn’t surprise Draco since Pansy occupied Goyle’s attention. He watched as Pansy whispered something in Goyle’s ear and placed her hand on his leg. Draco smirked, remembering how Pansy acted like a slut when he dated her, but his smirk disappeared when he turned his gaze to Gabriella.
Draco watched as Gabriella did the same thing to Crabbe as Pansy had done to Goyle. He kicked Crabbe in the leg from underneath the table. Crabbe winced slightly and rubbed his leg under the table as he turned his gaze to Draco. He met Draco’s narrowed eyes with his own, witnessing Draco’s glare and anger. Crabbe knew what this meant so he slid away from Gabriella slightly.
Gabriella glared at Draco, obviously aware of his behavior towards Crabbe. They all ate dinner quietly after this and Gabriella left the table before he did. Draco left the table once he finished, which appeared to be the same time as many others.
Students started heading back to their common rooms while other students went for late night walks. Draco went back to his common room also. He noticed Gabriella, Goyle, Crabbe, and Pansy all sitting around. Draco stormed over to Gabriella, grabbed her by the front of her school robes, and dragged her over to the wall, shoving her against it. He decided to take his old approach on things to get through to her.
Gabriella looked at him with slight shock, but mainly she glared at him. She wasn’t exactly pinned against the wall by him. In fact, he gave her space so she pulled out her wand and pointed it at his throat.
Draco ignored her wand. “Now, are you going to tell me what has gotten into you?” He asked, getting in her face.
“No!” She exclaimed as people started to stare.
Draco grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her against the wall, holding her there this time, but allowing her wand to still be pointed at his throat. “Now,” he said, acting as an interrogator. “Why do you insist on being rude to me and ignoring me?”
Gabriella stared into his eyes as Goyle finally came over. “Draco, calm down.” He demanded.
“No. Not until she tells me why she’s been acting this way.” Draco replied, not removing his eyes from Gabriella.
“I’m sure it’s just the task.” Goyle suggested, coming up with an excuse.
“Then, I want to know what this task is.” He demanded, still looking at her.
“He told me to kill you.” Gabriella revealed.
Draco’s eyes went wide, but then he sneered and grabbed her wrist with the wand pointed at his neck. “Then do it! You know he will punish you if you don’t!” He shouted, trying to provoke her.
A couple of tears fell from Gabriella’s eyes and rolled down her cheeks. “No!” She exclaimed.
“Come on! Do it! Kill me!” He shouted, egging her on and forcing her to press her wand against his throat more.
More tears fell from her eyes. “I-I can’t do it.” She said, stuttering.
“Come on! Why can’t you do it!?” He provoked, pushing the wand a little harder.
Gabriella cried uncontrollably at this point. “I love you.” She replied quietly.
Draco let her go and her wand arm dropped. Just as quick as he let her go, he put his arms around her, letting her cry into his chest. He stroked her brown hair gently with one hand to comfort her. He looked around as he held her and noticed all the students staring at them.
Draco sneered at them all. “Piss off.” He demanded.
Many students started heading off to bed, going to different parts of the common room, or just leaving. He slowly guided Gabriella over to the sofa once he released her from his embrace. They both sat down and Draco took her hand, holding it in his own. “Look at me.” He demanded.
Gabriella met his gaze with slightly red eyes. Draco brushed some of her hair from her face, and then brushed her cheek gently with his thumb. “I love you too.” He said, looking into her eyes.
“I’m so sorry.” Gabriella apologized.
“Shhh. It’s alright. Everything will be okay. I won’t let anything happen to you.” He explained.
Then Draco leaned in and gently kissed her on the lips. He pulled away after a few seconds and held her close, rubbing her back as he did. They sat there in silence for a while until it became bedtime, but now everything would be fine between the two of them.
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