The Darkness and The Light
Disclaimer: The plot it mine but the characters belong to the brilliance that is JK Rowling.
A/N: A huge thanks goes out to all of you who have taken the time to read and review this story, it’s because of you that I decided to continue on and it’s because of you that this story has become so popular. There doesn’t seem to be any real confusion, but I’m worried that there may be concerning things that have happened since the Healer told Narcissa that Draco’s mind was still strong.
Draco taunting Ron with his wand, Draco fighting with Lucius, and any instance where Draco is talking to someone and they suddenly disappear-is all happening inside Draco’s mind. So, just in case there was any doubt at all, now you know.=) Without further ado, enjoy!
Lucius Malfoy Apparated into his son’s room in the very early hours of the morning when it was mostly quiet out in the corridors. He looked around the room and expected to see Narcissa either at Draco’s side or at the window but was surprised to see that she was nowhere to be found.
He took a few quiet steps towards the door and poked his head out into the empty hallway only to find no sign of her there. Assuming that maybe she had gone to the cafeteria for food, he tossed his staff onto the bed next to Draco’s and took Narcissa’s usual seat.
This was the closest that he had been to his son in days. Even when he had been in his room that night, Draco’s appearance had not fully sunk in. All he could do was look at him and think of the fact that he knew his son didn’t need him to find Potter and his friends. He would get out of this on his own.
Though not really sure why, he looked around himself once more before giving his full attention to his son.
“The strongest creature in all the land is a dragon, my son. That’s how you got your name. You’re strong because you’re a Pureblood and a Malfoy. I think-no, I KNOW that you can get through this. You’re a fighter.”
He stopped for a moment to ponder that last word. Fighter. Is that what his offspring was? A fighter? When he really gave it thought, he didn’t think so. Draco wasn’t lying before him unresponsive and comatose because he was a fighter. He had lost. To a Weasley, no less. This was the thought that filled Lucius with anger. How could he lose out to a Weasley?
“No,” he went on, his voice just above a whisper. “I was wrong. It’s your own fault that you’re here. You couldn’t stand up to those damned kids, Draco. You’re better than them and you couldn’t use the powers that you were blessed with to stop them. You’re no son of mine. You’re on your own.”
Giving Draco one last contemptuous look, he grabbed his staff off the bed and Apparated out of the room.
Ron didn’t know why, but suddenly he couldn’t feel his legs under him for they had turned to jelly. As he made it to the couch, keeping his eyes on the head that was in the fire, he felt himself go cold and sweaty all over. What was worse was that he began to shake and he couldn’t stop. He didn’t understand why this was happening to him all of a sudden.
“C-can I hel-help you with some-something?” He stammered as his heart began to beat wildly in his ears.
The female face in the fire was silent for a moment as she narrowed her eyes and inspected Ron as closely as she possibly could. Everyone in the Wizarding World knew Harry Potter regardless of whether or not they had actually seen him, giving one last look at Ron’s forehead and noticing that there was no scar, she finally spoke:
“I’m looking for Harry Potter,” she said, she sounded exhausted.
“He’s asleep,” Ron gulped. He still couldn’t understand where this bout with his nerves was coming from. He had no idea who this woman in the fire was.
Yes, you do, a small voice inside told him. Take a closer look. Take in her features. White blonde hair, grey eyes…where have you seen that before? That’s why you’re going all nervous and sweaty. You know who she is…
He stared back at her, mouth gaped open. It couldn’t be. Could it?
Narcissa Malfoy? He thought to himself. But what in Merlin’s name…?
She’s trying to save Draco, you prat, the small voice spoke up.
“Can I help you with something?” He asked again.
The face in the fire became grim and looked downward with a frown. “Not unless you know how to save my son,” she said tearfully.
Ron’s hands felt clammy and his hammering heart would not cease. Wiping his sweaty hands on his legs, he leaned back into the couch.
“You-your son?” He asked,
“Draco Malfoy,” she told him. “Do you know him?”
He tried his best to hide his feelings from her but knew that he must have been doing a horrible job by the way she was now giving him a suspicious look. If not for this attack that his nerves had made on him, he would have shaken his head, but instead he nodded to her.
“Are you ok?” She asked, genuinely concerned.
“I’m f-fine. Why-why do-why do you ask?”
“It’s just that you seem awfully nervous. Are you always like this?”
He nodded vigorously. “S-sure.”
There was an awkward silence that hung between them now. Ron was a horrible liar, he knew he was. He couldn’t pinpoint what, but there was something that told him that she didn’t believe him. He stared back at her, hoping that she would leave and he could calm down but only found that she was studying him as though she thought he looked familiar.
He quickly searched his mind for ideas on how to hide his face from her but realized that there had been too much time that had passed for him to do such a thing now.
“You look familiar,” she said, confirming his worst thought.
“Oh, I get that all the time. I guess I just have one of those faces. People come up to me all the time thinking that they know who I am when really I’m not who they thought I was. So, you must be mistaken.”
The words had tumbled from his mouth so quickly that even he was not entirely sure of what he had just said. Nonetheless, he didn’t stop to think it over; he just went with it, not caring what it might have sounded like.
“No, that isn’t it,” Narcissa replied. “I have seen you before. Red hair, freckles, your father works for The Ministry in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office, you’re Arthur Weasley’s son. I just don’t know which one, he has so many.”
Ron could no longer try to lie to her, even if he had wanted to. She had an idea who he was. He had to give in; there was nothing else that he could do.
“Ron,” he said lowly. “My name is Ron and I’m the last boy out of five others.”
He was surprised to realize that for some reason he no longer felt nervous. He was finding it much easier to look at her, to speak to her than he had just a few short moments ago.
Why? he asked himself.
The little voice that had made itself known inside his head earlier was back, for it spoke once more:
You know why. Just think for a moment…
“It’s nice to meet you, Ron,” she said earnestly. “I’m Narcissa Malfoy.”
This caught Ron off guard and he couldn’t help but stare back at her wide-eyed and speechless. He knew that Draco was not this polite, nor was his father. He was taken aback and didn’t know how to react for a brief moment before he finally said:
“It’s nice to meet you, too.”
The voice came from behind him; he was sitting alone in the darkness again, with his legs crossed in front of him, his back to whatever decided to come his way. He stood and kept his back turned although he knew too well who had said his name.
While he would never say so, this was the voice of someone who had actually somehow managed to save him a thousand times from himself. Conversely, this was the voice of someone that he also feared when he had made her mad.
“Hermione,” he said softly to himself.
“How odd that you would acknowledge that you know my name,” she said. He noted that her voice sounded bitter and angry.
“I’ve always known your name,” he said to himself.
When she said nothing, he turned around to see if she had left like all the others usually did. An odd sense of comfort overcame him when he saw that she was there, staring back at him, dressed in a white gown.
“Oh,” he said, as he gave a smile to show her that he was intrigued by the way she was dressed; “we’re playing the part of the virgin tonight, are we?”
She still said nothing, only looked back at him with grim eyes and a matching expression on her face. When he had turned to look at her, all he had noticed was that she was wearing white. He now saw a big, red stain on her front. He took a few steps close to her and took the fabric in his hands, inspecting it closely.
“It looks like blood,” he observed.
“That’s because it is,” she said, frowning. “It’s virgin’s blood. My blood.”
“How does it feel, Malfoy? How does it feel to know that you’ve killed someone?”
“I haven’t killed anyone,” he told her, becoming defensive.
“But, you have,” she said softly. “You’ve killed me…”
“No,” he violently shook his head, mussing his hair as he did so. “It isn’t real! You’re not real, none of this is real!”
“You’re wrong, Draco,” Hermione informed him in a malicious sing-song voice. “You raped me that first time and I bled,” she looked down and fingered a section of the stain on her gown. “Some stains never go away.”
Draco took this to have a double meaning. He thought of the day she had told him that she was bitter because he took her virginity, she had wanted to give herself to Weaselby.
“What do you want from me?” He yelled. “I can’t give you back your precious virginity!”
“I know,” she muttered, her attention still on the stain. Draco thought he heard tears in her voice, but her hair was hanging down around her face now and he couldn’t be sure if she was crying or not.
“Then what?” He demanded.
“’What?’”, you ask?” said a new voice. Draco didn’t have to look behind him, he knew that voice. It belonged to Ron. “Hermione, he wants to know ‘what’.”
Ron took a few steps towards him and the next thing that Draco knew; Ron had grabbed his wrists and wrenched them up in the small of his back, holding them tightly with one hand. Draco tried to struggle free and was shocked at himself when he found that he could not get loose.
The stupid git must be stronger than he looks, Draco thought to himself.
Hermione now looked up at him, her face dry but there were remnants of tears on her cheeks. She slowly brought her wand upward and took enough small paces towards Draco to completely close the distance between them. She jabbed her wand into his chest and their eyes locked at that instant.
The fire that was now in her eyes burned with bitterness, hate and rage while his could only look back at her and silently mock her.
“I’m dead because of you, Malfoy.”
He said nothing.
“You can’t give back her virginity,” Ron said as his free arm locked over Draco’s collarbone.
“But you could say that you’re sorry,” Hermione told him, her tone soft. “It’s the very least you could do.”
Draco looked at her as though he was suddenly remorseful and just when she thought he might make an impassioned speech and say that he was sorry, he burst out laughing at her.
“Never! You’re a stupid, filthy Mudblood! I’ll die before I apologize to you!”
Hermione’s face brightened as she looked from Draco and then at Ron. She looked back at Draco, bemused.
“Funny choice of words, Malfoy,” Ron said.
“Considering who holds your life in their hands,” Hermione finished.
“What do you mean?” Draco demanded as he fought to get free of Ron one more time and failed.
“We have the key,” Ron sang in his ear.
“What key? What are you talking about?”
“We could get you out of here, Draco.”
“You know where ‘here’ is?” He asked them, mildly interested.
Ron nodded. “We do.”
He looked over his shoulder at Ron. “Then you know how to get out,” he said excitedly. He couldn’t hide his relief. He was going to be free of this place that scared him so much. He turned to Hermione, a little smile spreading across his face. “I don’t like it here,” he continued, the expression on his face pleading with her to help him. “I don’t know where I am, things keep happening. Weird things. Things that I don’t understand.”
Hermione brought up a free hand and caressed his cheek. “It’s ok, Draco. I’m going to help you. I’m going to end your pain.”
The look on Hermione’s face stayed solemn and serious as she jabbed her wand into his chest a little deeper, but not penetrating him at all. Regardless, he felt an intense amount of pain and wondered what exactly it was that she was doing.
She’s killing you, he answered himself. She’s transfigured her wand and she’s killing you.
The conversation between Ron and Narcissa had been rather idle, of no real importance, until she asked:
“Do you think you could go and wake Harry for me?”
Ron found that question rather unexpected as he fought down a lump that began to well up in his throat.
“Um, I could, but he isn’t who you need to talk to, Mrs. Malfoy.”
She looked back at him, quizzical. “He isn’t?”
He shook his head. “No. It’s me.”
“What do you mean?”
Ron took in a deep sigh, preparing himself for what he was about to say. He held it for a moment before he let it out and said, “I’m the reason Draco is in St. Mungo’s.”
“You?” she asked as a look of shock came onto her face.
Ron nodded and avoided her eyes once more. He slowly began to relate to her the story of what Draco had done to Hermione, as he knew it. He told her about the kidnapping and then the rescue. As he drew to a close, he found himself on the verge of tears.
“I was so angry with him, Mrs. Malfoy. I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m in love with Hermione; I had to punish him somehow after what he had done.”
“That doesn’t excuse you,” she said stiffly. The look on her face was so blank that Ron couldn’t tell what must have been going through her mind. Whatever she was feeling now, she was hiding it very well. “I should tell your parents.”
The wrath of the Malfoy’s or the wrath of his parents, Ron didn’t know which would be worse. The idea of both frightened him beyond anything that he could comprehend. He nodded to her, acknowledging that she was right; he would probably tell his parents, too, if he were in Narcissa’s place.
“My son may already be dead because of you!” She shouted, making Ron jump just a little. “The Killing Curse and the Cruciatus Curse…honestly, I don’t know what they’re teaching you children here!”
“I’m sorry,” he said softly. It was all that he knew to say.
“Sorry?” Narcissa glared at him incredulously. “That’s all you can say?”
He twiddled his thumbs as his heart began to thump loudly in his ears again. “It’s all that I know to say,” he admitted.
Another strained silence and after a moment, Narcissa let out a heavy sigh and said, “You’ll be dealt with later. I need to save my son.”
In a flash, the flames turned green and lapped at the outside of the fireplace. When they died down seconds later, she was gone.
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