Chapter 5 : Nothing More Than Daphne's Little Sister
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Nothing More Than Daphne’s Little Sister
He could see the fine tremors running through her body, indicating how cold she was. Astoria was calm and seemingly emotionless on the surface, however her eyes gave her away; they were like the eyes of a doe at the hands of its predator, accepting its death and knowing that suffering is inevitable. Those eyes were filled with anguish and hardship and it terrified Draco. It shook him to the very core that a fifteen-year-old girl could have eyes like that and it unnerved him even more because he had a feeling that in a few months he too would have eyes like Astoria’s; displaying everything he’d endured, every pain he’d experienced. He fought hard to not show his feelings and thoughts, but he was certain they were scrawled all over his face.
‘You’ve got it, haven’t you,’ Astoria said in a hushed voice. It wasn’t a question.
‘Got what?’ asked Draco, knowing exactly what she meant.
‘It. The Dark Mark. You’re one of them.’
Draco turned away, hiding his face in shadow. At first he’d been proud and honoured to have the ghastly mark on him, even boasted about it subtly, but somehow, when Astoria said it out loud, he wanted nothing more than to scrub his arm until the skin came away, shame gushed through his veins and he desperately wished he could deny it. He couldn’t though because Astoria was already pulling his shirtsleeve up, tugging his wrist towards her and twisting his arm. He looked down at it with an expression of pure disgust, then looked at Astoria to see his expression mirrored, except that her face showed nothing but pity. Her long, artist’s fingers traced the mark, soothing the burning sensation that remained.
‘Oh, Draco,’ she said mournfully, her hand moving to his and holding it. He hardened his features.
‘It’s an honour,’ he said dispassionately.
‘It’s a death wish,’ she corrected. ‘I expect he’s given you a mission, then?’
‘How did you know?’ he was bewildered. How could she simply gather that from just knowing he was a Death Eater? She laughed humourlessly.
‘I heard your father isn’t exactly favourable with the Dark Lord at the moment, he’s using you to get to him. The Dark Lord wants you to do something that he knows you can’t or won’t do,’ she said with certainty.
‘Got it in one, Tori,’ he said wryly. She arched an eyebrow.
‘Tori? I like that. So go on, what’s he told you to do?’
Draco wanted nothing more than to tell her everything, to pour his heart out and see if she could make it better, but she couldn’t and he wouldn’t. He didn’t know when or how it had happened but he cared about her much more than he thought he did and he would not get her involved in this.
‘You’re not going to tell me, are you.’ Again, it wasn’t a question. Draco shook his head. ‘Why, what do you think I’m going to do? Complete it for you? Sorry but I’m no heroine, Draco. And what’s the worst that could happen to me? The Order of the Phoenix torture me for information? I’m a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl, I hardly think that’s their style. I don’t underst-’
‘I have to kill Dumbledore!’ he blurted out, interrupting her rant. She blinked, her eyes widening enough to make him want to sink through the floorboards that very second. ‘And if I don’t He’s going to kill my family.’
Before he knew what was happening Astoria had thrown her arms around him and was holding him. His arms automatically responded, winding around her waist and his face buried in her hair, engulfing him with a musky vanilla scent. Her prominent bones jabbed at him when she moved closer, sparking the need to protect her. She looked up at him lugubriously, pushing back a strand of silvery hair that had fallen into his eyes and tracing his jaw line, every movement precise and caressing.
‘You’re not going to do it, are you?’ she whispered, sounding like a scared child.
‘I don’t have a choice,’ he muttered, avoiding her gaze.
‘But you don’t want to do it?’
‘Of course I don’t want to kill him! What difference does it make anyway, I either do it or I die,’ he spat harshly, glaring at her fiercely.
And she kissed him.
‘Then you have to do it, Draco,’ she murmured against his lips, tasting faintly of cigarettes which, peculiarly, enticed him.
‘I don’t know how, nothing’s going as planned,’ he said, sounding more vulnerable than he’d wanted to. Astoria chuckled.
‘When does anything ever go as planned? You can’t die, you can’t leave me.’
And suddenly Draco had a newfound determination to succeed. He was going to fulfil his mission. Not for himself or even his mother, but purely for Astoria.
‘I won’t, Tor. I promise.’