The Room of Hidden Things held many objects in its cluttered, high ceiling self. Portraits of those long since deceased, clothing articles dating as far back as Ancient Greece, magical items either broken or lost, secret diaries of those who knew of the room, and other such odds and ends were scattered throughout the room. Treasures far beyond one's richest imagination were hidden within its depths.
But the current occupant of the Room, Draco Malfoy, didn't care for any of those worldly treasures. His focus was solely on the one object standing in the way between him and a freedom of sorts.
If he succeeded in his task of murdering the Headmaster and smuggling the Death Eaters into his school, the Dark Lord promised Draco he would be allowed to live. He was also promised his father's release from Azkaban for accomplishing this. It was a high price, and becoming more impossible as the first month of school was finishing up. He would have to do something soon. It was almost Halloween already.
Standing eight feet tall, its dark sharp triangle sides coming to a point gave the Vanishing Cabinet an eerie look. It stood almost perfectly in the center of the cluttered mess. It was the object that would get the Death Eaters from Knockturn Alley to Hogwarts. In Draco's mind, it was the devil. Well not quite, there was something- someone- that was just as, if not more, evil.
Draco remembered the first time he laid eyes on the Cabinet's twin at Borgin and Burke's shop. He thought him and his mother was just going to accompany his Aunt Bellatrix in one of her meetings with him.
The moment the Dark Lord laid his red eyes on him in that tiny shop was the moment he was sure there was no backing down. And when he called Draco out of the all the wizards and witches in the room, he knew it was the end.
The end of feigned ignorance. The end of pretending he wasn't a child anymore. He had to grow up, in the few short seconds it took him to cross the room.
The Dark Lord looked nothing like how Draco had imagined from his father's ravings. He moved and spoke with elegance and purpose, but their was a wild side that was dangerous to him. The man looked as though the every Dark Magic he used was eating up his soul. Skin paler than the moon, slits taking the place of an actual nose, eyes the shade of blood. The Dark Lord was a strange person to behold. He was more monster than person. A monster that demanded power and allegiance. He was the nightmare of all nightmares.
When he was given Dark Mark, it had stung more than he had thought it would. The skin of his left arm now damaged by the dark magic swirling beneath it was sore still, making Draco forever conscious of it. He rubbed it without noticing and hissed when the burn grew.
The tattoo sparked a memory from his mind. He was probably seven, maybe eight sitting on his father's lap.
When he was younger and ignorant of his father's shady past, he would trace his father's tattoo with his fingers imaging what it would feel like to have one- maybe even the same one.It was really neat, watching the magic swirl and stay just underneath that thin layer of skin. Lucius had always been the more distant one in his parentage, and he treasured every moment of closeness greatly. He really was a great father, he thought.
Young Draco then looked up at his father and said, "Father, I want to grow up and be just like you. I'll find a beautiful wife, and a kid like me, and get a tattoo. Then I'll grow my hair out, too, so then we'll be just alike."
Lucius had just laughed, and said, "When you get to be as old as I am, you might regret it."
When Draco grew older, the immortal image young children often see their parents having was stripped away, revealing just how much his parents had hid from him. Knowing what he knew now, he wanted to be nothing like his father, but was slowly become just that.
Sometimes ignorance truly was bliss.
Draco tried a few more spells he had found in the library during his lunch, but with no success to boot. His frustrations soon caught up with him, and he shouted at the Cabinet. "Come on, work you stupid piece of shit!"
"That's quite enough from you. There is no need to speak profanities in the presence of a witch."
Draco jumped around, his wand ready. His eyes searched for the intruder, yet he was completely surprised when the only one he saw was a portrait of a man barely older than he was glaring accusingly from across the room, the picture frame resting in a faded love-seat. Also in the portrait, sitting next to the man, was a young woman of timeless beauty.
"I'm sorry." He said.
"You better be." said the portrait man warningly. He was glaring at Draco as if he were his father. It was extremely odd look for a man that wasn't much older than Draco.
"Darling," the woman spoke up, "you needn't be so harsh. He is young."
"Alright, Love ." he said, looking at the painted woman next to him with love and deep compassion.
The sight had Draco aggravated. It was just like someone above was laughing and rubbing it in his face.
Who would love someone as dangerous and horrible as a Death Eater?
After trying for a few more hours, Draco made little progress on the Vanishing Cabinet. Deciding it was time to give up for the night, he put away the tools he had brought with him and covered up the Cabinet with a tattered cloth. It would do no good to be sleep deprived.
He had almost made it to his common room when his stomach reminded him rather painfully he had skipped two meals. He changed courses and headed to the kitchens where he knew food and service would be plentiful.
The house elves were excited, almost too excited to see someone requesting their services, and smiled at him widely. Draco was too hungry and overlooked the small detail. He asked one elf, kindly, as that was the only way to get them to do anything and then some, for a small snack.
She- the elf wore a dingy faded pink doll gown to distinguish its gender- hurried off quickly, smiling wider only to be back a few minutes later carrying a handful of green shiny apples in her miniature arms and a full glass of pumpkin juice balancing on her head. He thanked her before leaving and her broad smile grew larger.
He had no particular place to go while eating, so Draco wandered the castle in search for such a place. While he walked, he thought.
He had noticed his thoughts revolved mainly around three things as of late.
The first thing, above all, was his task. Although he had never agreed with the Headmaster on anything, he did not wish the old man death, nor want to be the catylist of it. He didn't want to be a killer either, but a war was brewing, no matter what people said or how they avoided the situation. He would have to be a killer to survive it.
The second was his family. His mother had not written to him once since he had gone off to school. Every letter he sent was never answered. He only hoped she was okay living alone with him and his followers. His father was bound in chains at Azkaban, reliving his worst memories with dementors. Even though he knew his father wasn't a good man, he didn't deserve the punishment either. What Lucius had done was to protect his family.
The third object of his thoughts was someone who should have been in them. This person was below him, or so he was taught. He wasn't supposed to want this person, he wasn't supposed to want to have this person by his side. But the craving of not being allowed to have this person but wanting still was how his obsession started.
And in the form of Hermione Granger no less.
She wasn't supposed to be a brilliant witch, top of the class, a better magician than himself. Especially not with her muggle blood coursing through every vein and artery in her body. Draco had been jealous of her and hated her for it. But he had always wanted her. When he was a mere boy of thirteen, the confusion had been almost to much for him, and he had taken it out on her.
Now that he was older he saw that he didn't hate her. He hated he couldn't have her.
Not that it mattered. Their were separated by a thousand old prejudices and on opposing sides of the war. He had made her hate him and he was meant to hate her. It just wouldn't be safe, nor fair, to even try.
He had tried to disconnect his feelings for her the moment he discovered they had sprouted. But a girl like Hermoine just didn't go unnoticed. She was smart, likable, and had a short temper that rivaled his own. He had found that out one day when he went too far.
After walking for a while Draco found himself at the library door. He was about to unlocked it with a simple alohamora when he noticed it was already unlocked. But who was in?
Draco crept inside and closed the door, cringing when the thing groaned from frequent usage. It was dark inside and smelt of mildewing books, old magic, and fresh ink. The subtle embers of a dying fire gave the room a romantic glow. There was a muffled noise he couldn't place.
"Ouch." Draco said, letting the unintended words slip through his lips when he hit his foot on something. He lit his wand and pointed to the ground. There was a pile of scattered books, the one closest to his foot was partially covered in brown, curly hair.
He moved his wand over a little and saw a girl curled on the floor, crying.
The name escaped his lips before he could stop them from opening. "Granger?"
Disclaimer: I do not own HP.
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