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Love, Not War by Yoshi_Kitten
Chapter 30 : |Chapter 24 | Who to Blame
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6


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A Note to the Validaters: Just so that you are aware, the “death” that is talked about in this chapter is NOT real. It is stated in the chapter before that Voldemort and Percy are staging Draco’s death in order to get to Lucius and Roxi. That being said, I hope this is all in comply with ToS, as I have done my best to keep it that way! Thank you so much for all that you do, you guys are my heroes, and I really do mean that!! =)

And to my readers: I know you’re all probably getting sick of hearing this, bit I am really sorry for making you all wait so long like this! I went through a terrible bout of writer’s block shortly after posting the last chapter, and then I also had a lot of real-life drama and family crap to deal with on top of that. So needless to say, I was MIA for a few months there but I am back now! I had a challenge entry to do last month, so that was what held this chapter up an extra month after my return. I am SO sorry to keep you guys waiting for extended periods of time like this. But if you are willing to bear with me, then I cam promise you that things should be getting better soon as it is finally summer time! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to leave me a review when you get done reading this!! Your words of encouragement & constructive criticism ALWAYS make my day, and they help out with my procrastination problems too, lol! 

But now that everything is said and out of the way, let’s get on with the chapter!! I should warn you before hand though that this is NOT a happy chapter, at all. It is borderline depressing. I mean, I cried just writing it. So if you’re not in the mood to read anything sad right now, you might just want to bookmark this and come back later... You have been warned.









Voldemort had locked Kireonna back up in her own cell, secured her by binding her hands behind her back with what he believed to be the Zirconium chains, and then preformed a simple memory charm on her. He had personally seen to it that she have no recollection of the night's events and then he took some time to ensure that Lucas’ dead body was indeed not going to revert back into its original form. Once he was certain of that, he ordered Percy to set it up in such a way that it would appear as though Draco had suffocated himself with his pillow.

The scene was set; there was no going back now. Everything was ready to go according to plan. By the end of the day, Lord Voldemort was hoping to have Roxi Zarooni on board with becoming one of his Death Eaters. Once he had her on his side, he would then use her to get revenge on Fenrir Greyback for taking Draco away from him. The only thing left to do now was wait until morning, when Roxi would come downstairs to feed Draco his breakfast like she always did.

When she would look back on this day, months from now, Roxi would always remember Percy acting rather oddly that morning. However, in the present, she was not paying enough attention to her surroundings to notice anything out of the usual. Roxi had been up all night cleaning and was therefore rather exhausted by the time breakfast rolled around. All she wanted to do was feed the Death Eaters and get them out of her hair as fast as possible, so that she could clean up their mess, go downstairs and feed Draco, and then go to bed.

Initially, she was just going to go down there and set his tray of food down on the table next to him. She wasn’t in any mood that morning to argue with him, or play anymore of his childish games. But the second she stepped foot into Draco’s cell, she immediately knew that something was horribly wrong.

He was lying on his stomach, which was unusual because Draco almost always slept on his back, and his right hand was dangling off the side of the bed. His body was positioned awkwardly, because his left hand was underneath the pillow, which his face was also buried in.

Roxi took one look at him and, for one split second, she laughed. “If you think you’re fooling me into freaking out over you or something, Draco, you might as well just knock it off,” she said nervously. “I am not in the mood to mess with you tonight.”

But she would have much rather preferred it if he had been pulling a prank on her, for what happened next was far worse than even the cruelest practical joke imaginable.

She had no sooner spoken those words when she noticed that Draco hadn’t made a single movement since she’d come down there. His body was unnaturally still. Her mind had told her this already, but she had ignored it before, passing it off as some kind of sick joke.

Roxi took three steps forward and stopped. She gasped and what little strength she had had left in her waned at the sight of his body up close. The tray of breakfast food that she had been carrying crashed to the ground with a loud clatter, and Draco didn’t stir one bit at the sound of that commotion.

“Oh my god, he’s not breathing!” she cried aloud. She ran up to him and started shaking him frantically, knowing already in the back of her mind that there was no way any of it would wake him up. But she had to try and do something. “Wake up, Draco, wake up!”

All of it was useless, and Roxi knew that. So next she did the only thing she could think of; she turned him over and desperately started trying to resuscitate him. When this still did not seem to be working, she began to panic. But Roxi refused to allow herself to accept the obvious. Her brain simply would not allow her to believe that Draco was dead. It was not plausible to her, at this point, and she was therefore denying it.

She just needed some more help, that was it, so she left Draco and ran upstairs to get Severus. He was the potions master after all, so maybe he would know what was wrong with Draco. Perhaps Severus would have some sort of potion up his sleeve that could help wake him up.

Snape had mentioned something to her at breakfast about going to check in on Lucius before turning in for the day, so that was where she headed first. She ran up the stairs and through the hallways until she finally reached the room she had been looking for. Then she crashed into the room without even knocking, startling the people inside of it.

But Roxi wasn’t concerned with anyone else except for Draco at this point. He was the only thing that mattered to her right now. Her eyes quickly scanned the room and found who she was looking for. “Severus, you’ve got to come quick,” she said breathlessly. “Downstairs. Draco. He isn’t breathing. I don’t know what else to do!”

Then she exited the room almost as quickly as she had entered, leaving a bewildered Severus and Lucius behind her. “Relax, Luc, I’m sure everything is fine,” Snape said at once. “I’ll go down there and find out what’s going on real quick, but you had better stay here.”

Lucius nodded to say that he understood. He knew that he could not go down there in his current condition. Besides, going down to the basement to check on Draco had already gotten him into enough trouble recently, and he was not about to go and give the dark Lord a reason to punish him again. Not unless there was something seriously wrong with his son.

Severus got up and hurried off to follow Roxi back downstairs. Moments later, he found her sitting over his body, shaking him. He took one look at Draco’s blank face and froze in terror. “Roxi, what has happened here?” He demanded to know at once.

“I don’t know, Severus.” Roxi was beginning to panic. “I-I just came down here and found him like this!”

“Found him like how exactly?” he wondered. Roxi then turned Draco’s body back over and put it back just how she had first found him. This did nothing to ease Snape’s mind, however. It only made the situation worse, for now he was able to plainly see what had lead to Draco’s untimely ending.

“Tell me you know how to wake him, Severus” Roxi pleaded. “There has got to be a potion or an antidote, or something, anything!”

Severus swallowed past the lump that was now forming in his throat. “H-he won’t wake, Roxi.”

Roxi shook her head frantically in denial. “You’re wrong!” she screamed. “You just don’t want to try. You don’t want to try because you don’t even care!”

“HOW. DARE. YOU.” Snape was quickly beginning to lose control of his emotions. “How dare you suggest that I do not care when that is my god-son laying right there! The last eight years of my life have been about nothing but keeping that boy safe. I have been looking out for Draco’s well-being ever since he first stepped foot into Hogwarts.”

“Well then where were you last night when this happened?” Roxi snapped. She knew that it was not Severus’ fault, nor was there anyone to blame really, for no one could have predicted that something like this would happen. Still, it felt good to have somebody to take her anger out on, for the moment, which was why she was treating him so badly.

“I was carrying out orders for the Dark Lord,” he spat. “I had no other choice! I was doing what needed to be done in order to survive another day here, the same as you were.”

“Well you should have been down here,” she stubbornly insisted.

Snape looked at her skeptically. “That’s funny, coming from you, because the last time I checked you were the only person who even had permission from the Dark Lord to be down here in the first place. So technically, if anyone could have put a stop to this, it would have been --”

“-- Don’t you dare try and put this on me!” Roxi shrieked. “This is NOT my fault!”

“Well you were the last one to see him alive, were you not?” he asked. Severus was just as frustrated right now as Roxi was, which did not make matters any better.

“No, thank you very much,” she snapped. “I wasn’t the last one who was down here with him yesterday, it was Per-cy.”

Roxi froze up instantly as she remembered the time she saw Draco last. It was right after she had kissed Percy, just before the start of last night’s shift. She left out of here telling Percy Weasley that she loved him and that she would meet him upstairs in her room. That must have done it. That must have been the final straw for him. That single act alone was most likely the thing that had sent Draco over the edge. It was all her fault that Draco was now... no longer with her.

But she had wanted to come back down here and make things right with him. She was just about to turn around and come back to explain things when Percy stopped her. He had talked her out of it, told her to wait a day, and so that is what she did. But now Roxi couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened if she had ignored Percy’s wishes and followed her own instincts instead.

“Oh my god,” she whispered to herself. “This is all my fault. If only I had come back down here yesterday... I should not have waited until today. I made a mistake.”

Snape’s countenance changed at once. “Oh no, Roxi, I did not mean for you to start blaming yourself. This is not your fault. It’s no one’s fault.”

“What exactly is no one's fault, Severus?” Voldemort’s voice unexpectedly sounded out from behind them. “And might I add; what is it you are doing down here? I do not recall telling you that you could come down for a visit. I believe I ordered you to go to bed, so that you may be well rested for tonight’s mission, Severus.”

“My Lord,” Snape started, “There has been a problem, you see --”

“-- It was my fault, sir,” Roxi cut in. “I was the one who went upstairs to get him. I-I did not know what else to do. Severus was the first person I could think of…”

“What the hell are you even talking about, Zarooni?” the Dark Lord demanded.

“It’s Draco, sir,” Roxi choked. “There’s something wrong. He won’t wake. I-I’ve tried everything.”

Voldemort looked from Roxi’s tearstained face to Severus’ grief-stricken one, and then he turned his attention onto Draco. “What. Happened. To. Him.” he demanded through gritted teeth, acting as though he was doing his best to contain his anger. He already knew, of course, that it wasn’t really Draco Malfoy lying lifeless on the cot in the cell, but he had to convince everyone else otherwise.

“That’s what we were just trying to figure out my Lord,” Roxi informed him.

“Actually, I already know, sir,” Severus piped up.

Roxi turned and looked at him incredulously. “What do you mean you already know?” she demanded. “If you've known what was wrong with him, then why haven’t you told me already?”

“I haven’t told you,” Snape said, “because you are not ready to hear it yet. You do already know, of course, no doubt about that. However, that does not mean that you are ready to accept it.”

“Will one of you just tell me what the hell happened down here?” Voldemort shouted. And though he appeared to be growing impatient, he was actually quite enjoying watching them wrestle with this.

“Well sir,” Severus paused to take a deep breath. He could not believe the words he was getting ready to say. “It would appear to be that Draco Malfoy has taken his own life.”

“Well I can see that,” Voldemort snapped. “It doesn’t take an idiot to figure that out, I mean look at him, Severus! What I want to know is why?”  

“Oh, I don’t know,” Roxi sarcastically snapped at him. “But whatever the reason was, I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you have been holding him here against his will for almost a month now. Not to mention the fact that you crippled him just to ensure he could not run away. Draco was miserable down here, and you knew that.”

“You had better mind who you’re speaking to, little girl,” the Dark Lord threatened. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall hearing that you personally added to his misery yesterday, when you came down here and snogged Percy Weasley right in front of him. But don’t worry; I’m sure that that had nothing to do with this either, now did it?”

“That wasn’t... I didn’t...” But Roxi could no longer form coherent sentences. She knew this was all her fault; she did not need Snape and Voldemort to keep reminding her. She suddenly burst into tears, crying her heart out. She no longer cared that the Dark Lord was there in the room with her, she simply just couldn’t keep it together for a second more.

If she thought it had been awful when Draco had broken up with her, this made that look like a tea party in comparison. She would give anything to go back and allow for that kind of depression to be her biggest problem right now, for nothing could prepare her to accept the fact that her beloved was now dead because of her misguided actions and childish behavior.

“Severus,” Voldemort spoke over Roxi’s wails, “would you mind fetching Lucius for me? Go, but do not tell him anything.”

Severus nodded and left without another word. He was afraid that if he were to open his mouth to speak, he would very well lose it. Even when he entered Lucius’ room, he only requested that his best friend follow him downstairs, and that was it.

Lucius was, of course, filled with many questions, but Severus did not attempt to answer any of them. He simply kept his mouth closed to maintain his composure, and led Lucius down to the basement, just as he was ordered to do. He was determined not to break down in front of anyone, and he knew that if he gave in and started answering questions now, he would not be able to hold it together for long.

When Severus returned to the basement with Lucius, Roxi’s cries had died down but she was still sniffling some. No doubt Voldemort had ordered her to remain silent until he broke the news to Lucius.

"Good evening Lucius,” Voldemort greeted. 

“My Lord,” Lucius replied with a short bow, “please tell me why you have brought me here.” Lucius was already half frantic. From the time that Roxi had burst into his room, insisting that Severus accompany her down to the basement to check on Draco, he had been desperate to hear news that his son was okay. 

“I have something I would like to show you, Lucius,” Voldemort answered calmly.

“Right,” Lucius snapped, “because I’m just going to be able to see it perfectly.”

Lucius secretly wanted to know why everybody was being so silent, and why it sounded like someone in the room was trying to cover up the fact that they were crying. He wanted, more than anything, to hear Draco’s voice and to know that his son was okay. He was both nervous and anxious, but he was also determined not to show it. His only concern at the moment was for his son. Then suddenly, without warning, Lucius felt a pressure on his eyelids that felt as though someone was trying to pry his eyes out of their sockets. He cried out and nearly dropped to his knees in pain. It was then that he heard Lord Voldemort’s voice echoing through the stream of anguish. “Lucius, look at me,” it said.

And then, just as suddenly as it had come on, the pain was gone. Lucius blinked his eyes several times to clear the splotches of purple, blue and black that he was seeing several of. But as soon as his vision cleared he found that he was finally able to see again, after what felt like months upon months of being kept in the dark.

He had but dreamed of this day since the moment he first received his punishment, for he did not think the Dark Lord would ever reward him by giving him his sight back to him like this. But now that he had received his wish, he wished that it had never come true. For the first sight with which he was forced to behold was the one thing that he had prayed he would never live to have to lay his eyes upon.

In that moment, the answer to all of his questions and anxieties was more clear than he realized he wanted it to be. The reason why everyone was being so silent, the reason no one had yet to tell him any news about his son, the reason it sounded like someone in the room was crying; now he knew that they were all for the very same reason.

His only son, his beloved Draco, was laying face-down on the cot with his head buried in his pillow. One hand was dangling lifelessly off the side of the bed; the other was clenched into a fist and tangled in his smooth blonde hair. He wasn’t moving… wasn’t breathing.

Lucius shook his head and took a step back. “No please,” he whispered, “show me anything but this. I would much rather you take away my sight again, for I do not wish to look upon this. Surely this can’t be real… Surely that isn’t really my s-s-s...”

“I can assure you, Lucius,” Lord Voldemort said, “this is very real, and that really is your son lying there. I know what it is you’re thinking right now, and no, this is not an illusion. I would not make something like this up.”

Even though he knew it was pointless to do, Lucius could not help but kneel down and start shaking Draco. He was pleading with his son to wake up, even though he knew that it would never happen. Tears were beginning to form in his eyes. “What did you do to him?” Lucius suddenly began shouting. “Why won’t he wake?”

“He will not wake,” Voldemort answered simply, “because he is dead, Lucius.”

“NO!” Lucius was still shaking his head frantically in denial. “No, he is not dead. He can’t be dead. My son is still alive.”

“He is dead, Lucius,” Voldemort shot back. “You need to just accept it and move on.”

“Accept it and move on?” he shrieked. “That’s easy for you to say, isn’t it? You couldn’t possibly understand what this feels like. I thought you had a deal with Roxi not to harm him anyways, so how could this have happened? Why did you do it? Why did you kill him? What could he have possibly done to deserve this?”

“Oh believe me, Draco has done plenty of things to deserve death in my eyes, and for that reason you already know how strongly I desired to kill your son. I would love to be able to take credit for this one, Lucius, you know I would,” the Dark Lord sneered. “But, unfortunately, it was not I who did this.”

“Who then?” Lucius demanded. “Who else around here would do such a thing to my boy?”

“Well I think that you already know the answer to that,” Voldemort replied smoothly. “Just think about it, Lucius. Think about how you found him, the position he was in when you first laid your eyes upon him, and you tell me what you think happened here.”

“To be perfectly honest, I’d rather not think about something like that right now,” Lucius admitted openly. He was doing his best not to allow himself to come to terms with any of this yet. He knew, of course, that he would eventually have no choice but to face his worst nightmare head on. But for now, in his mind at least, Draco was either sleeping or under a spell and nothing more.

Voldemort could tell that the great Lucius Malfoy was just seconds away from losing it, and he smiled at his servants discomfort. “The proof is all right there, before your very eyes, Lucius,” he said. “Your son suffocated himself in that pillow last night. He couldn’t handle his pathetic excuse for a life anymore, so he took the cowards way out and committed suicide. Which just goes to show that I was right all along about Draco being weak.”

“My son was not weak,” Lucius spat. “You only detest him so much because he was the only Death Eater around here whom you couldn’t control. Draco stood up to you, and you couldn’t stand that, so you made him think lower of himself so that he wouldn’t resist you as much. You crippled and left him alone and helpless down here, stripping him of every ounce of pride he had left. Whether you wish to believe it or not, this is all your fault. You did this to him!”

Voldemort seemed to ponder his outburst for a moment. But instead of getting angry, as Lucius had hoped for, he actually smiled and agreed with him. “I suppose you’re actually right about that Lucius, so I thank you for pointing that out to me. But this is not about whose fault it is or isn’t, so I see no point in standing around here wasting our time trying to figure out who is to blame. The fact of the matter is that Draco is gone and there is nothing that either one of us can do about it now. There is still much work that needs to be done, and far more pressing matters that need to be dealt with... Severus?”

Snape jumped upon hearing his name called so unexpectedly. “Yes my Lord?”

“I would like you to assist Mr. Malfoy here with the task of burying his son,” Voldemort said. “Escort them out back and see to it that he is laid next to his pathetic excuse for a mother. But understand this; I do not want you doing any of the work, Severus. All you’re there for is moral support, and to see to it that the job gets done, but burying Draco is to be Lucius’ task for the night. Not yours. Do you understand?”

Severus frowned and lowered his head. “Yes my Lord, I understand,” he said unwillingly. 

Lucius dropped to his knees, covered his face, and started weeping into his hands. “NO,” he screamed in agony. “Please do not ask me to do this, I-I-I can’t! ”

“I’m not asking you to do it, Lucius, I am telling you,” said Voldemort. “You will carry your son out back, and you will be the one to put him in the ground properly. He is, after all, your son so it wouldn’t be proper of me to ask someone else to do it for you.”

“My Lord, please,” he pleaded. “I can’t.”

“You can and you will,” Voldemort spat at him. “I am sick and tired of your laziness Lucius Malfoy. But maybe now, with your dim-witted family out of the way, you can go back to being the great Death Eater you once were. We are still at war here after all, and whether you like it or not, you still belong to me. You still have the Dark Mark, which means that I own you. It’s a lifetime of service or death, remember?”

“So kill me then!” Lucius screamed. “You know you’ve wanted to for the longest time now anyways, so just do it and get it over with. Please, I’m begging you. I have no desire to do this anymore, so you might as well just end it. Kill me and get it over with.”

“And give you exactly what you want?” Voldemort calmly replied. “Lucius, don’t you see, you are the only Malfoy left. Blood as pure as yours is difficult to come by nowadays, so it would take a lot more than that for me to actually kill you. I am offering you a chance for redemption here, and you would do well to take it. I am willing to forgive all of your past wrongs and allow you to start anew. What, with your wife and son out of the way, there is nothing else to distract you. Nothing is holding you back now, so I see no reason that you can’t start fighting for our cause once more. You now have no excuse not to.”

“I appreciate the offer, but I can’t accept it,” Lucius cried softly. “I do not want a second chance, sir. I am sorry, but I cannot fight for you anymore. In another lifetime, I suppose I might have jumped at the prospect of a second chance from you. But now that you have given it, I cannot accept it.”

“And why is that, Lucius?”

“I cannot fight for you,” he answered remorsefully, “because you have given me nothing to fight for. Everything I ever once cared about... is gone now.”

“I see you have chosen to live your life the hard way then,” Voldemort growled, “for I will not kill the last of your bloodline just to satisfy your desires. Now get up, Lucius. Be a man and go out and bury your useless son. I will give you one day to cope with all of this, and at the end of that day, you had better be ready to get your head back into this war where it belongs. If you think your life is so bad now, it is nothing in comparison to the hell I will put you through should you refuse to listen to me ever again.”

Lucius was still shaking his head dismally as he began to tear up again. “Please,” he whispered. “I cannot go through with this. Do not force me to bury him, I am begging you.”

“You have one day,” the Dark Lord responded harshly, ignoring his servant's pitiful begging. He then turned to look upon Roxi, who was still huddled up in the back corner of Draco’s cell. “Zarooni, I will need to see you in my room in one hour. Take some time and pull yourself together, say your goodbyes, and then come and see me at once.”

Roxi did not verbally respond to his request. She merely gave a feeble nod to signal that she had heard and understood him, then continued staring off into nothingness. Her mind was too numb to even begin to wonder what Voldemort could possibly want with her now. All she could think about was losing Draco, the part she had played in his untimely ending, and how one day she would have to tell the man weeping on the ground that all of this agony was caused by her stupidity. This whole situation could have been avoided if she had never gone and listened to Percy Weasley and his stupid plans for revenge. Roxi was so consumed by her own misery that she didn’t even notice the Dark Lord leave the basement until he had already been gone for several minutes or so.

As soon as Voldemort was gone, Lucius crawled over to the cot and threw his arms around Draco’s stiff and lifeless body. It wasn’t until he felt the coolness of Draco’s skin that the full reality of this situation came crashing in on him, hitting him like a ton of bricks. Lucius began to cry so hard that he was hyperventilating within a matter of seconds.

Severus closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. This was not exactly easy for him, but he was determined not to cry; for Lucius’ sake. He needed to be strong right now and make sure that his godson got the proper send off that he deserved. He walked over and placed a hand on his friend's shoulder.

“Lucius,” Severus spoke softly, “we need to get Draco out of here before the Dark Lord comes back and changes his mind.” But Lucius was bawling so much he couldn’t even form words to respond. Severus sighed. “I suppose I could carry him out there for you if you’d like me to, whatever makes it easier for you. I want you to know that I am here to help.”

Lucius finally sat up, for he was having a difficult time catching his breath. He only had eyes for his son though, and did not bother to look at Severus as he was talking to him. Snape sighed as he conjured up a glass of water for his friend. Without saying a word, he handed it to Lucius who took it and gulped it down quickly.

Lucius closed his eyes and took a deep breath, allowing the coolness of the water to soothe his burning throat. He was still hyperventilating somewhat, but found that he could at least talk now. “Thank you, Severus,” he croaked.

Severus shook his head in reply. “Don’t mention it.”

Lucius slowly shook his head back and forth for a few moments, still staring at Draco. “What am I supposed to do now?” he wondered aloud. “I have literally failed at everything.”

“I don’t know how to answer you that, Lucius,” Severus said. “But I do know that you can start by giving Draco the proper goodbye he deserves. That much you owe to both him and to yourself. I told you, I am here to help you if you need me.”

“That’s very kind of you, Severus, but you heard the Dark Lord,” Lucius said miserably. “I am supposed to do this alone. He specifically ordered you not to help me.”

“Yes, but none of that matters to me,” Snape said defiantly. “I cared about Draco too. I was there when he was born after all; therefore I feel that it is only proper I should be there in light of his death as well. You are my friend; my family, Lucius, and you are what is important to me. If the Dark Lord wants to punish me for helping you do this, then so be it. I am more than willing to take on whatever punishment he has planned for me, should I disobey his orders like he already knows I’m going to do.”

“That’s very noble of you Severus,” Lucius commended him. “But I cannot ask you to compromise your health and safety for my sheer inability to act. I will not sit back and watch you be punished for doing a job that I was meant to do.”

“Lucius, the Dark Lord already knows that I will chose to disobey his command, which is exactly what he wants me to do,” Snape replied. “Why else do you suppose that he told me not to help you? He gave those orders fully aware of the fact that I would chose not to listen them.”

“I’ll do it,” a small voice spoke up from out of nowhere. Both men wheeled around to look in the direction it had come from. Roxi was on her feet now standing a few feet away from them. “Lucius; I do not blame you for not wanting to go through with it, and Severus; if you do it you will be playing right into Voldemort’s trap. But he never said anything about me not helping out with this. He did, however, give me permission to say goodbye within one hours time.”

“Roxi, no, you shouldn’t have to worry about any of this,” Severus said.

“Why? Is it because I’m a girl, or is it because I’m a lot younger than the both of you?” she fired back at him. “Look, I cared about that boy just as much as the two of you did. This is how I have chosen to say my goodbyes, and I would appreciate it if you would please let me help the two of you bury him. We can all three do it together.”

Lucius buried his face in his hands and started crying again. “I cannot deal with this,” he cried. “No parent should have to bury their child. It isn’t right!”

“I know Lucius,” Severus agreed. “And you’ve been through enough already, so no one would blame you if you chose to wait in here while Roxi and I went out and buried your son for you. But I know you too well Lucius, and I know that you would spend the remainder of your life blaming yourself. This is the last thing you will ever be able to do for your son, Lucius, giving him a proper goodbye. You may not have always been the best father to him,” Lucius looked up and shot Severus a dirty look. “However, there is no doubt in my mind that you did indeed love your son. That being said, I know that you will do the right thing by him and bury him properly.”

After what seemed like an eternity of silence, Lucius finally wiped his eyes and lifted his head. “You’re right, Severus,” he said. “I have to do this one last thing for my son. I owe Draco that much.”

No one was ever certain of how he did it; but somehow Lucius was able to summon enough strength to stand up and carry Draco’s body out of the basement and into the back yard of the Riddle House. Severus, being the only one of them who had a wand, used magic to dig the grave and then Lucius gently lowered his son into the hole in the ground. They spent a few moments in silence, and then Severus lifted the mound of fresh dirt with his wand and covered Draco’s lifeless body with it.

Once Draco could no longer be seen, Lucius threw himself down on the ground between his wife and son and began crying his eyes out. Roxi had never felt so much pity for someone in her entire life. Here was a man who was once great, feared by all yet still desired by many. Everyone had wanted to know him, yet they were all envious of him. Lucius Malfoy had been one of those people whom most could not stand, due to his many perfections. He was a man of great power and wealth, a man who had everything.

But the man before her eyes now was not even a thread of who he used to be. This was a man who had been stripped of everything; his pride, his power, his wealth, his dignity. Lucius Malfoy was now among the lowest of the low, living a life of severe destitution. He appeared desperate and pitiful as he lay on the ground gripping fistfuls of the freshly dug earth. Lucius Malfoy had truly lost everything, and for that, Roxi felt deeply sorry for him.

She wasn’t certain of how much time had already passed, but she was sure that her one hour was quickly running out. So Roxi took a few more moments to remain in silence for the one she had loved before returning to the Dark Lord. When she finally did take her leave, Lucius was still sitting in between the graves of Draco and Narcissa Malfoy, bawling his eyes out for the family he had lost...


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Love, Not War: |Chapter 24 | Who to Blame

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