The Serpent by NoxTonks
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It had been six months exactly since the war and Voldemort’s death. I suppose you could say that we were beginning to heal now, but honestly the wounds still feel raw. The Weasleys had lost a son and I doubted they would ever fully recover from that. I doubted any of us would. I know Harry blames himself. Of course he does. I didn’t want to imagine what his nightmares were like.
We were sitting opposite each other in plain wooden chairs. I was being held to mine by some sort of spell by Malfoy, as when I tried to stand up I felt an invisible force shove me back down again. I practically growled in frustration. Perfect, just perfect. I was stuck to a chair being held captive by Malfoy in a creepy grey cottage of some sorts.
I took my wand and smiled at the familiar weight of it in my hand. I proceeded to walk around the clearing, by the tree line, and recite the spells I’d learnt by heart for when we were on the run. The familiar words rolled easily off my tongue and my wand wove the magic into a thick cover around us. I tried not to think about the memories from the war. I tried to keep my mind blank. When I was done with the wards I turned around, and despite my best efforts, expected to see one boy with black hair and one with red.
Malfoy was staring intently at his forearm, his fingers tracing the place where his Dark Mark once was. I could see the faint outline of it, like a scar; a constant reminder of his past. My eyes travelled up to his face and I saw an expression of mixed pain and disgust. I also saw regret shining in his eyes, his intense stormy grey eyes. I felt a stab of pity towards him. What must it be like to have to live with a name like his? With a past like his?
Slowly, he removed his hand from the door handle and turned around fully and made his way over to us. I thought he could see my heart thundering in my chest. I fought to keep my face neutral. I fought to hide my fear.
Slowly, a bone white hand rose and grasped the silver mask. He pulled it away from his face. The drums increased in tempo as the mask clattered to the ground by his feet. The sound seemed to echo around the dead castle.
I groaned slightly as my sandpaper eyelids slid open. I lay in my bed for a few moments, waiting for my groggy mind to clear enough for me to think properly. Or at the very least function like a normal human being. I sat up slowly, wincing as a sharp dizzying pain shot through my pounding head. I reached up slowly and gingerly touched my forehead. God I had one hell of a headache.
Neither of us said anything to this, we only shared a shy glance before we turned to watch the fire together. After a few minutes Draco cautiously placed a hand on my knee, moving so slowly it was as if he was giving me time to tell him to stop. I glanced up at him to see he was looking at me, a question in his eyes. I smiled, my eyes telling him it was okay before turning back to the fire.
“Maybe you just don’t really love him.” His voice was almost…hopeful? It couldn’t be, and if it was how do you take something like that?
For a moment all was still. He stared at her body dumbly. He felt nothing but a strange sense of disbelief, and for a fleeting moment, a half a second of childlike innocence, he even wondered how she could breathe with her face buried so deeply in the forest debris.
You’d think we’d be closer after last night. Seems we’re just further apart than ever. The thought brings a pang of sadness to my heart, a pang which I immediately shove away.
“We need to go.” Draco hissed the words but they seemed so painfully loud in the silence that I cringed. He was poised like a panther in front of me, all of his muscles tensed as he crouched slightly, bracing himself for whatever was to come. We started to take hesitant backward steps.
I glanced over my shoulder.
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