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Chapter 27 : Dead Memories
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Somebody else was in his mind. He knew that; he could feel it. It was an unwanted presence, combing through his memories. He had felt it many times before, only now it was different. They were not trying to find any lies in his words. They seemed to be searching for specific memories, only they did not seem to know exactly which ones they wanted.
He was sitting in his father’s arm chair in his office, awaiting the return of the Dark Lord. He had never seen Him before and wondered what man could have such power in His body that He could make Lucious Malfoy fall to his knees in fear.
He felt a sharp pain, as if they had discovered what they were looking for. Then, there was a tearing, not too painful, and all of a sudden the memory changed. He was no longer curious, he was fearful. He was no longer anticipating the moment, but hating the knowledge of its arrival. He was no longer the strong man, but a weak child. After a moment, he could hardly remember anything else ever being different in the memory.
He was waiting in his bedroom as plans were made in the dinning room the floor below. They were going to take over the Ministry. They were going to kill many people. The world was going to fall beneath their feet.
He did not want the world to fall beneath their feet. He did not want to leave his room and know the truth of the plans being made. He wanted to sit and cower in his room, free of any murderous obligations. He was not ready to be a part of this – he knew he never would be – and he hoped they would not demand his assistance.
He was down on his knees, bowing before the Dark Lord, waiting for his first assignment. The words passed into his mind the way the wind might have blown through his hair. He felt his chest flare in dark pleasure at the thought.
He was trembling. He could hardly breath, being this close to the Dark Lord. The moment the words crossed into his mind, he was frozen. Frozen with the breath of the Lord he was supposed to worship. The moment the order finished, he felt a warmth spread through him. Pleasure at no longer being connected to the Dark Lord. Then he was frozen again. The knowledge and pressure of his task filling him with dread. He was no murderer. He could not find within himself any strength to commit such an act.
He was standing on the Astronomy Tower, his wand pointed at the old man. The old man was saying he could help, that he could save him. But no one could save him, especially since he did not want to be saved. He was going to kill the man. But his hands were shaking.
He was supposed to kill this man. But he could not. He was too weak, like the man standing before him. But he was not cowering in fear, rather he seemed accepting of his fate. In that moment, Draco realized that strength was not the ability to kill. Strength was the ability not to kill. His hands were shaking, not from excitement, but from fear. From acceptance. No matter what the old man offered, there was no saving Draco Malfoy. It could not be done. The only thing that would last him through was the small knowledge the old man had given him tonight. “Draco, Draco, you are not a killer.”* The old man had said. “I don’t think you will kill me, Draco. Killing is not nearly as easy as the innocent believe…”* No, killing was not easy. But neither was it hard. It could not be hard, not if it was only an escape for the weak-willed. “…come over to the right side, Draco … you are not a killer …”*
He was waiting outside his father’s office, pleased. The old man was dead at his doing. The body was evidence enough. The Dark Lord was going to be pleased.
Hermione was positively trembling with fear. Ginny had been in his mind for nearly three hours. Harry had managed to stall Zabini, and she hoped he could do so just a slight bit longer. She took a deep breath. She heard Draco moan in pain again, shouts erupted from beneath her, and then Draco nearly screamed in pain.
He was sitting in his father’s arm chair, a cold grin on his face. His father was on his knees, bowing down to him.
“My son,” he whispered.
“My Lord has chosen me to follow in his footsteps. You are no longer necessary,” he said as he brandished his wand.
“My son,” his father whispered for the final time.
Ginny could not believe how he had managed to end up somewhat decent, what with his upbringing and the constancy of pain and hatred. She was mulling over the knowledge that he had never truly believed in torturing and murdering anyone that was not perfect, for he knew himself to be anything but. She saw another memory, only this one was completely encased in the plastic-like coating she had found among many of his memories. Hermione had been right, as per usual, when she suggested that there would be a very distinguishable difference between the true memories and the fake ones. Giving the memory a gentle tug, she heard him cry out in pain as it moved, excruciatingly slowly, into the vial in her hand.
He remembered running through the streets, searching for the mudbloods that were running from him. He remembered the high pitch laughter of his mentor. He remembered wondering if he would ever create so much fear in the entire population. He remembered coming across people cowering in terror as they saw him. He remembered giving them his most fearsome smile and the flash of green. He remembered the feeling of power that would encompass his heart after these encounters.
There was yet another memory coated in the plastic substance. Wincing in advance of his agony-ridden screams, she pulled.
He remembered laughing as the mudblood screamed in pain. He remembered the boys that she called her friends watching in petrified silence, unable, or at the very least unwilling, to help her. He remembered seeing her blood leaking from her finger nails, her nose, her eyes. He remembered grinning as he watched the Death Eater twist her wand to cause her yet more pain.
He was watching, apprehensively, as his aunt turned her wand towards the witch on the floor at their feet. Then the witch was screaming in pain. He fought the urge to cover his ears with his hands. He fought the urge to squeeze his eyes shut with all his might as he watched blood begin to seep from her fingernails, her nose, her eyes. He tried to focus on her friends, watching this terror, restrained by bars, unable to help their friend. He stared into their eyes, as they stared at her. He winced as he heard her screams of pain increase, knowing his aunt had increased the pain with a simple thought. His fists clenched. There was a darkness closing around his heart as he witnessed the love and pain that shown through the eyes of her friends. He had seen his father tortured. His father had tortured him. And yet, the love that shown in their eyes caused him more pain than he had ever felt.
He remembered the truth.
* These quotes were taken directly from Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. I had nothing to do with their creation, and acknowledge that they, as well as all characters and plot lines that you recognize belong solely to JK Rowling.
PS: Instead of Harry and Ron being downstairs, and simply hearing Hermione’s torture, I simply put them in basically a jail cell upstairs so that Draco could have this little revelation. Also, I know that this is short again, but I didn't put in every memory that changed, just that same way as in the earlier chapters, I didn't put in all the changed memories. I only used the same memory changed that you read earlier. So, I know some of you might wish it to be longer, and I am sorry about that.
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