celestine_fics: The four Hogwarts founders in Potter Puffs style (Books - Harry Potter - House Unity)
celestine_fics ([personal profile] celestine_fics) wrote2011-12-24 06:44 pm
Entry tags:

Harry Potter Fic: Myself Almost Despising (R)

Author: [personal profile] celestineangel
Title: Myself Almost Despising
Pairings: Draco/Luna
Rating: R
Warning: Here there be torture.
Word Count: 3,022
Summary: Draco Malfoy remembers the worst thing he ever did.
Notes: Originally written for [profile] deatheaterfest, for a prompt submitted by [personal profile] crazyparakiss. I don't think this is quite what you asked for, but I hope you like it anyway! Title is from Shakespeare's Sonnet 29, and in part suggested by the lovely [profile] cymonie, who is the best beta in the world. :D Also much thanks to [personal profile] aimlesstravels for reading and making comments and suggestions. :)

Myself Almost Despising

There is healing in this.

"This is for the family, Draco. For your mother. For me. Help us."

He can't see his father. All he knows of the man's existence is the feel of trembling hands on his shoulders. The rest is darkness, and while he knows his mother and aunt and others are there, he sees none of them. All he sees is the girl, directly in front of him.

She looks at him without anything in her gaze that he can recognize as fear. It's maddening.

"Don't you know where you are?" he asks her, fingers tight and tightening further on the handle of his wand. "Don't you know what's happening? Don't you care?" It shouldn't do this to him, he shouldn't care, but it does, he does.

All she does is smile at him and say, "Yes. I know."

The first
Crucio! is actually quite easy, it flows from his mouth as though it were always waiting to get out, and he's angry enough to make it hurt. The girl screams, of course she screams, everyone screams. When he's done, however, and the pain recedes, she sits up as though nothing happened and says something about hinkypunks. It's enough, and while she screams again, he can hear the wild laughter in the background and knows this will not be the end.


There are days Draco wishes he never woke up.

Despite protests from his mother, he works a very respectable job in the new Ministry of Magic. Not in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; there are many changes he's made to his life, many paths he's walked he never thought he would, but being subordinate to Potter is thankfully not yet one of them. He works a full day struggling to maintain peace between the captains of rival Quidditch teams--he is not looking forward to the World Cup this year--makes a decent salary, and lives in a flat in London.

It is not at all the life his parents wanted for him, but he is oddly content. Most of the time.

The thing is, his goals no longer parallel his parents', and he isn't certain they ever will again. The house they still live in holds too much within its walls he never cares to see again. Too many memories, too many screams.

So, here he is, with his office and his desk, piled high with forms for everything from requests to erect a new Quidditch pitch to complaints against players for their behavior at the Leaky Cauldron (including demands for the Department to pay for the replacement of several pieces of completely demolished furniture and a fountain). Somewhere in the mess he might find the answer to the question of why he thought it would be a good idea to take a position in the Department of Magical Games and Sports.

To keep you out of politics, at least those that matter.

He has an office with a window, which in retrospect wasn't a very good idea. On days like today, he does little more than stare out of that window thinking about anything else than work or what he dreams.

For some, work is a way to forget. Potter is probably one of those, throwing himself into work so he doesn't have to think about the past. It's been two years, a time frame that can seem so long ago, and so close depending on the day and how well his night went. Today, he feels as though he could walk into the manor to find Aunt Bellatrix holding court with his mother and father in her shadow.


Screams and screams and screams.

The girl is suspended in the air, back bowed, head back, arms spread wide, and she screams. Screams too many and too varied to come from one person, but they do.

Though he's the one who's done it to her, her screams terrify him. What has he done? Oh what, oh Mer--no. Calling to Merlin just doesn't seem to encompass every strumming, piercing cry, the tight strain of her muscles, the blood dripping from cuts all along her body. If he were less than a Malfoy, perhaps he would call to God, but Malfoys do not rely on anything other than themselves, and whether or not Merlin was one of their ancestors does not matter, because they have claimed him.

But it just isn't enough.

"Do it again," hisses a voice at his ear. Dearest auntie. "Do it again, Draco, I like the way she sounds."

"I don't... I think--"

"You think
what?" Dearest Aunt Bellatrix has little patience. He can feel her at his back, and the claws of her embedded in all parts of him, from flesh to soul. "Don't think, Draco. You're not here to think. Merely carry out the will of the Dark Lord."

Why? he wants to ask. Why is this the will of the Dark Lord? He used to know, but he's forgotten. It's so very easy to forget these things when his father looks so desperate, his mother so frightened, and the girl screams.

Who is he?

As dearest Aunt Bellatrix sinks her claws deeper in him, the floating girl's screams cease with no warning, giving him only enough time to think
this isn't how it happened before her head lowers, her eyes catch his, and she smiles.

"Your name is Draco Malfoy, and there is healing even in this."


There are exactly three hundred and seventy three applications for grievance in his inbox, so he almost misses the one signed in her loopy, swirling hand.

Loopy, he thinks, quite incongruously, loony, just like her.

It seems that Miss Lovegood would very much like the Department of Magical Games and Sports to reconsider building their new professional Quidditch pitch where they plan, please, considering it is a known habitat for some insane magical creature that has no basis in reality. A snacklegrup? A cracklehorn? Who knew? The girl had always been--


--a little insane.

For no reason he can name, his head begins to pound. All he can think about, all he can hear suddenly, are the screams he hears so many nights in his nightmares.

Does she hear them?

Scowling, he picks up his wand and waves the ink across the application that reads, in all capital, red letters: DENIED. She's only one more kook off her rocker. Just this week he'd received other grievance forms requesting the pitch not be built because it would disrupt the migratory habits of the local Muggles, and another that claimed placing the pitch at that exact spot would block the etheric energies from beyond and make it impossible for those possessed of the Inner Eye to See clearly. That one had been both ludicrous and far too reminiscent of that old bat Trelawney.

The point being, of course, that Lovegood is no different from any other loony old bat. Other than being not old at all, but that is rather beside the point, and not part of it at all.

Dear sweet Merlin, my head hurts.

Every charm he knows does nothing to help, and everything the Ministry mediwitch tries doesn't work. In the end, she just gives him a potion to help him sleep and tells him to Apparate home immediately, and if his head doesn't feel better in the morning, he should report to St. Mungo's, no arguments.

At home, the potion, at least, does its work, and he sleeps long and dreamlessly.


He does not dream again for several nights.


When he does, it takes all of his control not to simply lose his mind, because he is staring in the mirror, looking at himself, yet he is also outside himself and can see both Dracos.

And he feels both Dracos.

One Draco's face is a mockery of a face, pulled tight by fear and pain, eyes wide and streaming tears, mouth open and stretched beyond the normal capacity for a human mouth. He knows that somewhere in that mouth, somewhere living deep within that Draco's chest, is a scream that never ends.

This Draco feels the Cruciatus. Unending, merciless.

The other Draco's mouth is pulled tight as well, but in a grin. The eyes are not something he wants to look at, because they remind him too much of Aunt Bellatrix's eyes, or those of the Dark Lord.

Beyond this caricature of expression, there is only enjoyment. This Draco drinks in the silent screaming of the other, feeds on it, lives off of it.

Draco wakes screaming aloud, only to open his eyes to a mirror in which another Draco laughs.

He wakes again to see a mirror-Draco enraged.

Again, and again, he wakes only to see himself as everything he thought he left behind.


When he finally wakes and sees only his ceiling, at first he lies still in a trembling mass, waiting for it to part and reveal another mirror. Hours later, the ceiling is only a ceiling, he finds the floor is just a floor, and he's missed work.

Not that it matters, not really, because he is losing his sanity.

That's what this is called, isn't it? When one dreams and doesn't know the difference between what is dream and what is real. When one dreams the same things over and over, and thinks about them constantly, obsesses. Insanity, that's what it's called, of course it is. He wouldn't be the first Malfoy to go mad, though no one ever talks about it, obviously. He's half-convinced his father is already gone around that bend.

Then, of course, it also runs on his mother's side, what with dearest Auntie Bellatrix. Perhaps--and oh how his father would rage to hear him say it, even now--it is a pureblood problem. He once overheard that Granger girl making a snide comment about "inbreeding" and "genetics," but they'd sounded like Muggle words and he'd never given them another thought. Now, though, now, with thinking about long-dead Auntie Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy--who spends a good portion of his days drinking and raging about times gone by, though no longer with the strength or will to do anything about it--Draco begins to wonder if he should look into it.

He's fairly certain he can't go to St. Mungo's with this. After all, they will want to know the cause, he has no desire to talk about the things that roam his head at night. Nor to really talk about the mark on his arm or his reasons for taking it, which are connected.

Everyone knows what he was. It isn't a secret. But he doesn't talk about it, and to his great luck, it's considered rude to press any who have been completely exonerated to share anything about their time serving the Dark Lord. There is also the rarely-spoken-of but powerful superstition that talking about it too much will see a third rise of the darkest wizard of their times. It is stupid, but it serves him well. It protects him, and others.

As does the tracking spell he lives under, and will live under the rest of his life, as well as a number of other spells to prevent him from going certain places or taking certain actions. It was the price he paid for being free, and able to take a respectable job.

Yet, Draco Malfoy is, for lack of a better word (to his mind), castrated as a wizard.

With nothing else to do, nowhere to go, Draco sits alone with a glass of Firewhiskey and contemplates becoming his father.


In three days, he stands outside the home of one Luna Lovegood, persistent activist for the preservation of Merlin-only-knows-what, and wraith who haunts his nightmares.

Some new part of him thinks, Now, that wasn't very fair of you.

The rest of him, tired and despairing, doesn't care.

He doesn't ring the bell.

Nor does he ring the bell the next day, or the next. It would be a breach of protocol, you see. Ministry officials simply do not visit the people who submitted grievance forms, no matter how many times they submitted. Ministry officials deny the grievances, and deny them over and over until the person either gives up, or comes to their office, where they are politely denied in person.

Yet, Draco stands in the grass looking up at the little tower-home of Lovegood's every day for a good hour, unless he sees movement and then, well, he's gone as quickly as he can Apparate.

What are you? he finally asks himself after nearly a week of this. A bloody coward?

He's marching up the hill, then, feeling the hot determination flowing through his veins, and he knows it has something to do with the screaming, grinning, laughing, raging Dracos from his nightmare but he doesn't know exactly what. What he does know is that he's going to march right up to her door, ring the bell soundly, and tell that woman where she can stick her grievance. Yes. That's what he will do, even if it costs him his position. He's only an assistant anyway, and it's unlikely anyone's going to let a Malfoy rise much higher than that, at least any time soon.

So, it isn't as though it matters.

The closer he comes to the front door, however, the more his mind tries to convince him it doesmatter, you stupid git. Because what's going to happen if you lose this job? You'll have to move back to Malfoy Manor with mum and dad, and you don't want that, now do you?

Absolutely not.

Of course, the moment he decides to turn around is the moment the door opens and Luna Lovegood herself steps out. Because his life hates him, it's turned into a cliché.


Oh Merlin, she recognizes me, she--

"Are you from Magical Nature Watch?"


"I only sent my letter yesterday, I had no idea the owl would travel so fast! Or that the magazine's writers came to see you in person."


"Come in, I have scones."

Draco follows as she retreats back into the tower house, feeling a bit like it himself, crumbling and tilted off-center. The crumbling part is chronic, but the off-center part he's certain is in direct reaction to her.

"Actually, Miss Lovegood, I'm not from any magazine."

"You're not?" she asks, turning to look at him over her shoulder, but only for a moment. There are teacups spinning in lazy circles around her head. "That's fine, would you like some tea?"

"No, I--"

"Perhaps some Firewhiskey, then? I keep some just in case someone ever wants any. I've never had any, though, and I'm rather curious as to how it tastes." Without waiting for him to say anything, a bottle of Firewhiskey joined the teacups, and filled one to the brim.

"Miss Lovegood, I--"

She smiles at him, then, and his voice catches. It's the same as her smile in the basement of his parents' home--the home that will never be his now, because he can't even stand being inside--the exact same smile, showing no signs of haunting shadows. He can't breathe for the brightness of her smile, and thinks himself an idiot for it.

She isn't even beautiful.

"Sir? Did you just see a--"

"No! I didn't just see a nargle or a wrackspurt or a crumblebummed corksnack!" He can't help the outburst. She's so... smiley. "I'm from the Ministry, and I've come to personally deny your grievance against the new Quidditch pitch. There's absolutely no proof of any danger to the local environment or it's inhabitants--human, animal or creature--and any further grievances filed on your part or anyone else's will be thrown in the waste basket."

She blinks at him.

"Oh. Well, if there's no danger to the local habitat, I suppose that's all right then." Another smile, damn her. "Scone?"

Draco stares at her, it's all he can think of to do in the face of this unrelenting joy and optimism. Has she always been this way? How can she still be this way? He can clearly remember every Cruciatus, every hex, curse and jinx he flung at her, he remembers her screams. He relives them every night, and does she ever... does she even have nightmares?

Merlin, you sound as though you want her to remember.

She's looking at him, her eyes big and blue and guileless, and he can't see even the suggestion of a shadow in them.

"Do you know who I am?"

"You're from the Ministry," she replies, and her head tilts. Unlike most people he knows, her confusion doesn't translate to a frown or to drawn-together eyebrows. Just her head, slightly canted, and clear, open eyes.

"No." He's aware of the irritation in his tone, but can't suppress it. "Do you know my name?"

A slight fluttering of her eyelids that could mean anything. Yet, she says, "Draco Malfoy," as though that name doesn't carry any special meaning for her. Merlin help him, he's angry because she doesn't consider him special, when the most special thing he's done in her life is torture her. "Have you lost your memory?"

No, have you? he wants to shout at her, but his voice is gone. It's been swallowed by the screaming Draco, the one who dreams every night of torture and cries.

"No," he says quietly instead. "No. I just... wanted to know if you remembered me. From school."

Her smile brightens. "Of course. And your house. It was very large, though I didn't see much of it." Somehow, when she says that, though it means she remembers what he did to her, she says it without anger or fear or any number of emotions he expected. He's unable to conceive of being so devoid of negativity.

And he can't find it in him to push.

"Scone?" she asks again, stepping closer to hold out the plate. Still smiling.

With nothing else to say, he takes one.

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