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Chapter 43 : Face Off
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Chapter Forty-Three: Face Off
Draco paced the room in a drunken rage. Ignoring Hermione’s presence, he cast angry spells off each wall, hoping she would have the nerve to tell him off for destroying her precious Grimmauld.
But either she was letting him vent or she didn’t even care anymore…either choice making him feel even more worthless. She had long ago begun to ignore his tirade and sunk into her own little world of worry and concern for those that had left on this secret mission against his father.
How could she have done this? Lied to him all this time? About Juliette’s lineage, about the affair with Sirius, about having a child, for chrissakes! Was there anything she had been truthful about it? He cast an angry glare her way and opened his mouth to ask but then thought better of it. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer. It might be better if he didn’t know.
He clasped the locket tightly in his hand that he’d taken from Juliette earlier that evening. She had been so tired, the night had been so hard on her, that she hadn’t even noticed when he slipped it from around her neck. He intended to confront Sirius tonight. It was the only reason he had returned to Grimmauld after the whole sordid ordeal in the shack. He was tired of waiting for Sirius to do the right thing and was going to force him out of their lives forever. Severus had told him everything he needed to know and it was time to use that information for his own benefit.
He stopped mid-pace, his face blanching white. What on earth was he saying?
He turned a gaze to Hermione, who had moved to watch out the window. No doubt waiting to make sure Sirius returned safely. He was crushed not so much that she’d chosen Sirius over him but more that he’d let himself turn into such a simpering idiot over the whole sordid affair.
She turned, pale faced, her fist holding tight to the curtain. Her voice was exasperated when she finally spoke. “I’m done fighting, Draco.”
He stepped toward her, slipping his hand into hers and pulling her toward the bed. “I hate him, I do. But not you.”
“I know. You shouldn’t feel that way but I know I can’t change that.”
Her eyes drifted to the window again but he pulled her face to his. “He’ll come back,” he assured her softly.
She raised her eyes, unsure if she could believe him or not. “How do you know?”
It pained Draco to admit it even as the words came out of his mouth. “Because I wouldn’t but it will never cross his mind not to.”
He wanted to be the bigger man, he did. But seeing the mangled group of them stumbling into the house caused his anger to boil again. Casting a quick spell across Hermione to keep her asleep, he stumbled toward the stairway.
He could see them all, the muddled mess of them that was left. Cuts, scrapes, blood flowing off most of them. He felt vindicated that his father didn’t at least go without some kind of fight. Only Sirius seemed to have escaped injury and that meant either he was a bloody coward or had gone after Lucius when his back was turned. That Sirius might outwit or out-fight his father never entered his mind.
“Kill my father, did you?” he asked from the top of the stairs, causing everyone still able to stand to turn his way.
“No, Draco, we did not.” Remus answered for them all as Hagrid began cursing under his breath.
“What’s that you big oaf? Couldn’t quite hear you.”
Remus reached out an arm to prevent Sirius from advancing on him. “He’s drunk, Sirius.”
“And?” Viktor returned from somewhere nearby.
“What, one Malfoy wasn’t enough for the evening? Now you want to take on another? Funny how all of you have something like a woman in common,” Draco pushed around them angrily, shoving them down as best he could. He glared at Viktor. “Question, is there anyone here who hasn’t slept with Hermione?”
Sirius advanced on him before anyone could react. He had him pinned to the ground, Draco laughing drunkenly, completely nonplussed by Sirius’ move. “Seems we have the answer about you now, don’t we?”
Sirius was sitting on his chest, his legs straddling Draco’s body his hands wrapped tightly around his throat. His fingers curled angrily, Draco’s eyes drifted closed, his face turning to a ghostly shade of bluish gray. A trickle of blood slid out from the corner of the mouth before Remus and Bill appeared at their side. Grabbing an arm, they tried to pull him away but nothing seemed to distract him. Remus watched in agony, knowing Sirius was too furious to comprehend what killing Draco would mean.
“Hagrid,” Remus whispered.
Hagrid stepped forward pulling Sirius off with one hand and locking him underneath his arm. Although he tried to protest, it was useless and Sirius watched as Viktor and Oliver rushed to Draco’s side.
“Sirius,” Remus touched his arm and, when he didn’t even glance his way, Remus grabbed him more forcefully. His voice barely audible, he reminded, “the locket, Sirius.”
The anger flushed from him immediately, almost as if Remus had placed Juliette in his arms. He nodded imperceptibly, his gaze moving from Remus to settle on Draco’s prostrate form. “Let me go, Hagrid.”
Hagrid looked to Remus for confirmation and, when he nodded, Hagrid released him. Sirius strode to Draco where Oliver and Viktor were working furiously to try and save him. They had no idea what spell he had being using while he strangled Draco and he knew they had no chance of saving him. He knelt on one knee, his head tilting to the side in curious observation as he watched Draco’s chest shudder in an attempt to get air. It would be so easy to let him die. He would have to do nothing. They couldn’t save him in time and if he only waited a few more seconds-
“Sirius.” Remus’ voice commanded from somewhere nearby.
He scowled but waved his hand across Draco’s chest and throat. The effect was immediate…as if he had suddenly been pulled from drowning, Draco’s eyes opened and he coughed with the sudden influx of fresh air to his lungs. Sirius stepped paces away as the others helped Draco to the sofa, color returning to his face by the time they had conjured him a glass of water. Draco peered at him uneasily as he tried to calm himself, the others murmuring and pacing on the fringes of the room.
“Voldemort,” he said finally, causing everyone to turn.
“Do you think you are the only one with an upbringing in the dark arts?” Sirius hissed. “Time to grow up, Draco. You’re superior to no one.”
They stared at each other for what seemed like hours, the others shuffling around uneasily in the silence. It was Remus who finally started ushering them out, Hagrid helping the wounded along as best he could.
“Sirius,” Remus touched his arm lightly to break the trance the two men seemed to be in. “We’ll be at Bill’s house. Fleur can patch everyone up.”
He nodded, but his eyes remained trained on Draco. “Take Hermione and Juliette with you, please.”
Remus hesitated and, as if he realized Remus’ unwillingness to leave, Sirius sent him a half hearted smile. “You’ll call if I’m needed?”
Remus nodded, his eyes landing squarely on Draco. “You realize he can kill you without uttering a word?”
“I’m fucking terrified,” Draco returned hotly.
Sirius put an arm up to restrain Remus as he started for Draco himself. He chuckled. “Let the boy alone, Remus. It’s not everyday your father gets sent to Azkaban and you lose your fiancée to a man who was once dead.” Sirius paused thoughtfully. “No, twice dead I believe.”
“I won’t kill him, Remus. Not without giving you the chance to convince me otherwise first, deal?”
“Deal,” Remus muttered and with a cold stare to Draco, disapparated.
Author’s Note: Just wanted to drop a quick note of thanks for all the amazing support everyone has given me on the story. The reviews and comments in meet the author have been absolutely heart-warming. There are only two chapters remaining and I intend to post both before my vacation set to start on July 18. I hope the ending turns out to be everything you hope it would be and, if it doesn’t, I at least hope I was able to keep you guessing and interested in this as it unfolded. Upon my return, the first chapter of Echoes of Fate will be posted. It will serve as a sequel to both this story and Reckless (for those of you who have read that). Thanks for everything, it’s been a lovely ride and I have all of you to thank for it.
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