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The Time it Takes to Wait by Draco579
Chapter 1 : Torture
 
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The air was pushed out of his lungs as he slammed his back against the cold stone walls in an attempt to be hidden. He must wait until the sound of footsteps was no longer a problem, he couldn’t risk getting caught; there was too much at stake. For him it felt as if it was taking hours; as though they were leaving him purposefully to torture his own body, his own mind. Suppressing the thoughts and feelings was essential, he couldn’t let them get to him and give away his position. So he waited. He waited for the moment he would be able to be free. He waited for the moment he could stop controlling and supervising his every emotion and action, when the deprived boy could live for once and know what it would be like to have the lives of others. He longed to be like the rest- seemingly innocent and unmarred by the horrors that he had witnessed and taken part of. Or rather, the horror he had become.
                  But they don’t know what it’s like. They had never been punished for something as petty as stepping on someone’s shoes or forced to see others do as they pleased while remaining stoic and proper. They just didn’t know. Surely if they did, they would help him or acknowledge the state he was in. Wouldn’t they? If they knew… what would happen? Pity, sympathy, terror? But he doesn’t want any of that! He wants help and compassion; just someone that understands and would be willing to assist him. Getting someone like that seems impossible, really; who cares about him? He’s just a cold, heartless boy who nobody bothers to get to know. Sure, he has his fair share of loyal companions, but they’re loyal to what he appears to be. He has those who despise him and the others that practically worship him- or at least, respect him. Would he call any of them friends? No, not really. But the boy wanted a friend; someone to share his secrets with and help him through everything.  He wanted something more too a partner, companion, soul mate. It would never be achieved, however, as the girl he truly had his heart set on was out of bounds. Never to be gotten close to. At least not yet… All he has to do is wait. How long could it possibly take?
                  All the waiting would be in vain, however. No one will ever get it. He’s stuck. Stuck in a whirlwind of dire complications with no escape in sight. Attempts have been made to leave the madness, but he hasn’t been so lucky as to remain in the solid normality-or what he perceives as normality- for long before he gets sucked right back in to the ground-braking truth of his situation. So why wait? Why continue to work up the courage to climb out, only to wake up with the same terrible thoughts and memories haunting every action, crushing every hope and means of attaining freedom? There’s no point really, it’s hopeless. There was one who could help him, dig him from the hole he had fallen into. But fate is cruel, deaming his saviour the person he could never get close to.


 

She would never be his. That girl meant everything to him, even if no one knew. No one could know. It's against everything he was supposed to do, think, feel and act. Half his live was an act, he hardly got to truly live. In his mind's eye, with her he could. With her everything could be perfect. Just one sign of encouragement would be enough to make him aspire to be good, just for her. Not that she'd believe it of course. Who would? He understands why it would seem incredulous. All his actions point towards the cause that he despises her. Maybe he did, at one point. All the frustration of keeping the secret ate away and bubbled out in anger. Loathing was never intended, as much as it was expected. If one sign of affection for her leaked through, suspicion would arise, creating new situations and plots to cover up the fault. Consequences could be awful, as most consequences are.  That's why things worked out, no matter how horribly, because keeping it all a secret was important.


 

Secrets must remain secrets; for once they get out, would they really be secrets? Everyone would know the truth about everything he has been trying to conceal for so long and think of him differently. So differently, in fact, that he would be recognized as a completely different person- a much worse person to some and a better person to others. And he couldn’t let that happen, the consequences would be terrible; unthinkable, even. New enemies would spite him and sympathizers would pity him. Pity was weakness, as he was taught. Thinking of that just brought back more memories of what he learned. All he was taught to become the perfect warrior in the newly rising world. He couldn't even follow those rules correctly... And as he pushed himself to remain still, hiding in the shadows near the wall, he attempted not to remind himself of these things. But thinking about not thinking of things just brings back the treacherous thoughts. It’s odd how all his life he was taught not let his true feelings come through and put on an indifferent mask; yet here he was struggling to keep his emotions in check. But as it got too overpowering- he couldn't bear to let the thoughts take control of his trapped self any longer- the boy let out a strangled, choked sound unwillingly from the depths of his throat; releasing all of the pain and hopelessness that was caged in for so long, forced to remain hidden in order to keep pretending that things are normal.


 

Suddenly, everything paused and the scene remained still. The boy realized what he had done; he had let his weakness shine through, all the while alerting the trespasser of his presence. And sure enough, the footsteps came to a halt, resting just a short while away from the boy's place in the shadows. This could ruin everything! One moment- the only time he had let himself succumb to the terror that constantly haunted his every living moment- might have just potentially destroyed what he had worked so hard to attain. The boy inhaled a silent breath, sinking deep into the shadows once more to cover for his mistake as he shut his eyes, determined not to see things as they unraveled. But was it too late? Had he already been discovered? After all that torturous waiting, he would have to spend some more agonizing time to wait and see if he could continue on or if everything would be thwarted. 


 

                He was used to it by now, really; all that waiting. He had become immune to false hopes and confidence getting crushed, all in good time. He had never been good enough; always the result of high expectations never being met; disappointment after disappointment and constant reminders of what he'd never become. There was still hope though, on the part of some, but it was never enough to make him feel worthwhile. So he masked it all: the pain, insecurities, and hopelessness all hidden with indifference and an uncaring exterior. Who was he underneath all this though? Had anyone ever seen the real him? Does he himself even know who he truly is? The boy had put on a facade for so long that his identity was a partial mystery; his true personality never daring to make an appearance and instead being mutilated by the cover he had put on for so long. Bringing it back would be hard work, near impossible with the current state of things. Again she crossed his mind. Maybe she could. Maybe she could bring it all back, find out who he truly is. Help him uncover the boy lost long ago to the shaping of hard reality. Would she though? 
                 The passer remained stationary for a bit more, unknowingly causing the boy more pain, before he continued onward in his original direction. The boy sighed  quietly in relief; he was safe,  for a while longer. He could keep trying to succeed and finish the tasks given to him, however much he detests doing them. At least he and his family were secure for the time being. He could protect his loved ones to the best of his ability, and save his parents from the disgrace of their equals. None of them wanted this any longer, they had uncovered the better path but were unable to take the first step to go down it; whether from fear or inability, they didn’t now. So for now they continued further down the mangled road they had originally gone to, with the thought that things would turn out brighter. That maybe someday they could complete their walk to redemption. It seemed as though it all rests on the boy’s shoulders, a near impossible burden that he was forced to carry. But he managed it, just barely. Even then, Draco Malfoy worried. Even then he wondered if he would make it; if he would be able to last until things would get better. If he'd ever get the chance to be with his one lifeline, that Hermione Granger. Maybe by the time the maddness ends, he wont need her.  Because you never know the time it takes to wait.




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