The Darkness and the Light
A/N: Big thanks to everyone who reviewed this story! I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to update it after I promised most of you a few more chapters. I didn’t know where I wanted it to go exactly. This story has written itself in a lot of ways and that caused some major writer’s block. Anyway, on with the show!
Narcissa Malfoy watched somberly as a group of Healers worked over her son. Whatever it was that he had been hit with the day that Muggleborn’s friends rescued her from Draco’s clutches, no one knew. They just knew that Draco was still out cold after two and a half weeks and his heart just stopped beating sometimes. The Healers were standing over him trying to revive him for what felt like the umpteenth time in the last two days when really it was more like three.
She didn’t see how this could be healthy for her son. If he ever regained consciousness, it would be a miracle. Not only that, but if he was back to his old self when he did so, that would be an added blessing.
A sick feeling crept into the pit of Narcissa’s stomach as the Healer’s began to look at her and whisper amongst themselves. She feared the worst- that her boy had finally given up the fight when a middle-aged female Healer approached her.
“Mrs. Malfoy,” she began gently, “we’ve revived him again but I don’t know how much longer he can hang on like this. His heart grows steadily weaker and when this happens again, I don’t know that…”
Narcissa’s eyes widened-daring woman to continue. Instead she just nervously cleared her throat and continued.
“Are you quite sure that you don’t know who did this to him?” she asked.
Mrs. Malfoy didn’t look at the woman; she just kept her gaze on her son. She was so scared for him. He was her baby and she didn’t know what she would do if she lost him.
“No,” she muttered softly as she shook her head.
“If you knew, we could ask them and perhaps cure your son, Mrs. Malfoy. We’ve seen many, countless actually, magical cases but this is the likes of something we have never seen. Finding who did this to your son would be beneficial.” The Healer pushed on as gently as she could.
“Then why don’t you ask my husband? Maybe he knows.”
“We’ve tried owling your husband at The Ministry and at the Manor. He hasn’t replied to either. I have to admit, Mrs. Malfoy, I find it odd that you don’t know but you seem to think that your husband would.”
“I haven’t seen him since we brought Draco in,” she replied stiffly.
All of her time in the last two and a half weeks had been spent at St. Mungo’s, at Draco’s side. Lucius had left rather abruptly once Draco was in his room and had not been by to visit his son since. The other Healer’s now cleared out and Narcissa advanced slowly on Draco, stopping in her tracks when he saw that his face had become more pallid than she would ever imagine it could.
“It certainly has taken a lot from him, hasn’t it?” She asked, her voice trembling and a silent tear making a clean path down her cheek which had been brushed with make up previously.
The middle-aged woman nodded somberly and brushed back a few loose hairs that threatened to fall to Draco’s eyes. Narcissa was offended that this other woman had touched her son as though SHE was his mother but this thought quickly left her worried mind when she realized that it didn’t matter much because Draco’s eyes were closed anyway.
It took a lot for her to do what she did next: she placed her hand over Draco’s heart and the other hand above his head on his pillow. She leaned down and gently kissed his forehead and murmured to him that she loved him dearly, he was her baby. It took a lot because she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was saying goodbye.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were just a few feet away from their Potions class when they overheard Professor Snape talking to Professor Dumbledore. Normally, they wouldn’t have stopped to listen outside the door, but they all three shared an odd feeling that it might have something to do with Draco Malfoy.
Rumors were only rumors, after all, and they had died down about a week after Hermione’s return to Hogwarts.
The trio didn’t really have time to try and listen to what the exchange between Dumbledore was; before they knew it, they were being confronted by Pansy Parkinson.
“You!” Pansy growled at Hermione, her voice like ice.
Hermione didn’t know why, but she hadn’t seen this coming. She tried to refrain from letting on just how shocked she was.
“What about me?” Hermione asked, looking directly into Pansy’s cold eyes, not about to give her the satisfaction of the fight that she was looking for. Quite the opposite, she was attempting to stare her down and remain in control.
“You know very well what you’ve done,” she nodded to Ron and Harry, “you and your cohorts! Draco is lying near death in St. Mungos because of you!”
Their reaction was impossible for them to contain. All three faces stared back at Pansy; absolutely stunned.
“Ron, what have you done?” Hermione whispered over her shoulder.
The Slytherin girl dropped her books to her side and jumped at Ron, slamming his back against the stone hallway walls. He winced in pain and tried to catch the breath that she had knocked from his lungs. He was unable to speak for a moment, but the look on his face went from shock to horror.
“So, it was you!” Pansy shrieked and she produced her wand from the breast pocket of her robes, jabbing it in Ron’s neck.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” he confessed in between whimpers. “I only wanted to hurt him!”
“Well, you got what you wanted,” she growled, jabbing her wand in just a little deeper. “He might die because of you, Weasley!”
“What?” Ron yelped.
“His mother has been owling me for the last,” she made sure to emphasize this next part to make her point, “two and a half weeks and she tells me that his heart stops and the Healers have had to reduce to Muggle ways to restart it again! He can’t go on much longer!”
Harry and Hermione remained speechless and exchanged a look before fixing their gazes Ron and silently asking him with their eyes What have you done?
“What’s going on here?” Barked a new voice and everyone turned to see Dumbledore standing in the doorway, Snape peering over his shoulder.
“If he dies, you die,” Pansy threatened Ron under her breath before releasing him and turning to the elders to offer an explanation. “Oh, nothing, Professor, I thought I saw a zit on Weasley’s head and I was offering to pop it for him.” She batted her eyes innocently at the two staff members in front of her.
“Alright, then,” Dumbledore said to her, his eyes and voice were full of suspicion for he knew better. However, he didn’t peruse the matter. He merely nodded ‘hello’ to Ron, Hermione and Harry he walked down the hallway and rounded the corner.
“Get in the classroom, the lot of you,” Snape droned as he turned his back and headed for his desk.
“Yes, Professor Snape,” Pansy said sweetly and once she made sure Snape was out of earshot, she turned to Ron once more: “Mark my words, Weasley.”
She gathered her books and went on in the classroom. Ron straightened his shirt and tie, cleared his throat and tried to walk past a concerned Harry and Hermione without offering them an answer. Hermione grabbed Ron’s arm by the elbow, stopping him in his tracks. He turned his head to see her glaring at him, silently demanding an explanation.
“Later,” he softly promised them. “We’ll talk later.”
Ron gently shook Hermione’s hand free from his arm and when it was in midair, he took it in his hand and kissed it, whether he was trying to reinforce his promise or reassure her, he couldn’t say.
Narcissa took the seat next to Draco’s bed and wrapped her fingers around his hand which lay limp at his side. She shuddered a bit when she noticed that there seemed to be very little heat radiating from it.
She had not stopped crying since the Healers had worked with him earlier that day. There was just too much going on; Draco was dying, deep down she knew it. She could feel it. She didn’t want, no, she didn’t need to be alone at a time like this. She wanted her husband with her so he could wrap his big, strong arms around her and comfort her. Make her believe that her baby would fight this spell that had been placed upon him, whatever it was.
She didn’t understand why the staff at St. Mungos was unable to contact Lucius. Maybe the owls were finding him but he just wasn’t responding because it might mean that he would have to come to the hospital.
Narcissa had a funny feeling that Lucius didn’t want to come to the hospital. Draco’s look had changed drastically since they brought him in and anyone who looked at him now would never know that he was once a handsome, strong and very healthy young boy.
She needed to find Lucius, to talk to him. But that would mean leaving Draco and she couldn’t bring herself do that.
The sudden presence of the Healer who had spoken to her before startled Narcissa and she gave a small jump as she came out of her thoughts. The Healer gave her an apologetic look.
“We’ve tried again to find your husband and we’ve had no luck. I thought maybe…perhaps…,” she nervously twiddled her thumbs and glanced away because she knew that what she was about to suggest may upset Narcissa, “you could Apparate and go looking for him.”
Narcissa surprised the Healer and gave a somber nod as she delicately wiped her tears away with her fingers, one at a time. This did no good, however, because they wouldn’t stop.
“I don’t want to leave his side,” she sniffled as she gave her son’s hand a squeeze, “if I go, he’ll be alone. What if he…?” The words wouldn’t come. What if he died? screamed something in the back of her mind. She swallowed deeply and sufficed it by saying, “I don’t want him to be alone.”
“I understand that,” the Healer sympathized. “But it’s very important that we find your husband, as I told you before. He may have the key to saving your son’s life.” She took her stethoscope and placed it on Draco’s chest. “He sounds good. It’s beating stronger than it has in days. He’ll be fine.”
“But what if he takes a turn for the worse? Anything could happen while I’m gone!” Narcissa protested.
“I don’t mean to sound cold, but it’s chance that you have to take,” the Healer told her matter-of-factly. “Mrs. Malfoy, your son’s life depends on you.”
Narcissa nodded, she knew the middle-aged woman was right. With a kiss placed on Draco’s ashen hand and a heavy heart, she Apparated from the room with a loud pop!
Hermione couldn’t wait until Potions was over to talk to Ron. She tried her hardest to keep herself engrossed in the lesson, but could not. She had to know what Ron had hit Draco with. She had to know now. She was fortunate enough to catch Snape with his back turned to the class, scrawling ingredients to a potion on the chalkboard, when she took a scrap piece of parchment from her book and jotted down the following:
What did you hit Malfoy with? You have to tell me! Whatever it was, I’ll still love you.
She folded up the parchment, pointed her wand at it, and softly uttered an incantation that allowed her to levitate it and direct it to Ron who sat across from her to her left. He quickly caught it in his hands and opened it, every so often glancing at Snape and praying that he didn’t get caught.
He looked over at Hermione to see her looking at Snape and then back at him. When he caught her glance again, he silently mouthed to her: “Wait until after classes! Stop being impatient!”
Hermione went to protest, but Snape was now facing the class and she had to turn her attention to him to avoid the wrath that he would put upon her if he saw her talking during class.
When Narcissa Malfoy Apparated from St. Mungo’s, she didn’t know where she was going. She had no idea where to begin looking for her husband, but she followed the instinct that nagged at her and found herself in the livingroom of Malfoy Manor.
“Lucius?” she yelled.
“Lucius?” she tried again as she crossed from the livingroom to the diningroom.
There was no proper answer this time but she did hear a noise, however. A noise that sounded like something had fallen and smashed on the floor. Another sound. Another. An uneasy feeling crept into her stomach as she followed the noise, wand drawn, and found herself headed to Lucius’ study.
Upon arriving in the doorway, she was frozen in her tracks. Anything and everything that could have been broken in the study, from vases to nicknacks, was. In the middle of the wreckage stood her husband, his long blonde hair mussed from the havoc he had wreaked.
His back was to her, but she could plainly see what he held in his hand:
A picture of their son.
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