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Behind These Castle Walls by If Only
Chapter 1 : Drama Unfolding
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3

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 The judge ordered for there to be silence and the large crowd of over a hundred immediately quietened down as they took their seats preparing for the court case’s ending and the verdict of the afternoon. They all looked forward, awaiting the next words of the judge, waiting the one part of the whole day that the crowd were themselves predicting and guessing amongst their own small groups.

Draco looked around for what seemed to be to him the millionth time that afternoon. As usual he saw before him the large courtroom, surprisingly larger than he had ever seen before. He hadn’t even known that courtrooms could be so huge! As he looked around him at his surrounding audiences, some sneered at him cruelly, he dismissed them, looking towards his friends and family who encouraged him with a smile. Others looked slightly pitiful as they looked towards him, trying to imagine themselves in his shoes.  Draco was used to this courtroom by now; he had come here every day of every week for the past month. Every time it was the same, he would sit quietly with all the other Death Eaters who were yet to be judged, far back, protected by guards and a mob of dementors. He would watch from his spot as the patronuses would circle around the room, ensuring that the dementors didn’t decide on an attack, keeping at least a bit of happiness in the atmosphere. He watched also as the guilty, which so far were all the cases, were dragged off by dementors into a small clearing in the room which was heavily protected by guards and other dementors. One after the other, man after man was dragged off, as they screamed and wailed and protested their innocence. There in their own little clearing, they too would continue watching as their ‘colleagues’ were driven to insanity as they were dragged to their own personal lifetime of torture.

Every time it was the same, watching as even his own father was locked away, yet this time, well this was the first time it had been different, because this time he was the one in the front. He was the one cuffed to a chair in the middle of another clearing at the front of the huge courtroom. He was the one with the dementors (who had been reemployed, seeing as Voldemort was no longer a threat)  hovering above his head, ready to strike at any time and suck the happiness out of him. He was the one being questioned. He was the one giving the answers. And he was the one being heard.

Draco had already put forward his alibi, told them his final statement. He had already tried to convince the court and the jury that he was innocent, but only under the effect of Veritaserum.

“I knew from when I was a young child that something was going on. My father was always detached from the family, always busy and never being there for family meetings or family outings. But he always left with an air of secrecy. He never confided in me, let alone my mother, never! But my mother did find out, eventually getting it out of him, I have no idea how, but she did.

“She planned for us to leave right away, but my father kept her home, solitary, not allowing her to see any of her friends or anyone who was not in their little ‘dark circle’. I remember one night, Mother tried to sneak us through the window late at night. But father found us; he pulled us back in, not that we made it very far. He threatened my life, telling my mother that he would take it if she left again. He never was much of a father figure, always forcing my mother and me into doing things. He forced me to join the Dark Lord, threatening the life of my own mother. I hated him; I could have spit on him, if it would have meant anything, or made an effect on him. But he was heartless and I loved my mother more and I feared for her life, so I had no choice but to commit myself.

“We were placed under the Imperius Curse more than once and Father often used the Cruciatus to torture either one of us in front of the other. We were never left alone, and if we were, we would be locked up. The Imperius was used often, but Father made sure not to use it too often because he knew we would learn to fight it.

“I was always made to be who I used to be because Father would always say that my mother’s life was dangling by a string that I could tear. He always made me seem like the bad person, just in case something unplanned happened and he could blame it on me.

“During what little family outings we had, I would be under the Imperius Curse, doing as he told me to and nothing more and nothing less. Mother would be free of it because he couldn’t have us both tied down at the same time, so he made it seem as if my life was in her hands and one little slip on her behalf would mean that her hand would crush me; ending my life. The only time I was ever let off was when I would feel pain, or when he first went to Azkaban. But when he did, I was already in the circle of Death Eaters and I already had the mark so there was no way out. 

“He always had a strong hold on us, no matter what and he made it seem to Voldemort that he could stay at the Manor, even though Mother protested profoundly. We were never allowed a say in how life would turn out for us, we were never able to plan things, we hardly lived our lives at all; even our friends were chosen by him...”

The rules were strict for cases against Death Eaters, but the Veritaserum had worked so well and had been used ever since it had been forced down the first Death Eater’s throat who had decided against speaking.  Draco had unwillingly been forced to tell the truth, uncapping a truth he had kept bottled up inside him for years upon years. But the truth definitely affected the verdict, affected his future, his life. He may not have known, but it really had.

He regretted his telling, regretted the truth and he really hated it and was so sure he was about to join his father in Azkaban which was why he was so surprised when the jury and the judge announced their final statement.

“Mr Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, has been found innocent of the charges that have formerly been held against him. It appears, before us, clearly being the truth, that Mr Malfoy has been forced into becoming a Death Eater by his own father. He was threatened with the taking of his and his mother’s life and obviously joined in an attempt to protect his mother from further danger or harm.”

The crowd went wild with agreement and disagreement, insults and congratulations. The judge simply looked around slowly, and lifted his arm, wand in hand and poked it to his neck softly. He uttered a short spell, before beginning to speak again, his voice amplified over the whole crowd. His voice reverberated off the walls and he continued.

“However, we have also taken into consideration the possibility of Draco having taken on some of the murderous traits of the Death Eaters. Hence, we have, that is the jury and I decided to put Mr Draco Malfoy here on a one year probation period.  His actions will be closely watched and monitored with a weekly report on his actions and doings. At the end of the year, or with any unfolding drama, his probation and sentence will be re-assessed. That is all, this case has been dealt with and we have come to an end for this afternoon.”

At once, two guards loosened the cuffs on either of Draco’s arms. They walked close to him as they guided him past the clearing where the sentenced Death Eater’s sat, spitting at him as they past, calling him a betrayal, calling him worthless and insulting him with lines of profanities. Lucius however, was able to be heard over all the other Death Eater’s.

“You bastard! Betraying your own father like that, watch it boy!” He spat.

Draco walked ahead, his father’s words replaying over in his head. The judge had said that once the drama began to unfold, he would re-assess his probation and what-not. But, what he did not know was that the drama had already begun to unfold. It really had.

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