His eyes pleaded with me from across the room. Did Bellatrix know her nephew was standing right there, just on the other side of the door? Take me with you, his eyes said. Or was I misinterpreting them? I'm sure, in that moment, my eyes were pleading as loudly, if not more so, with him to stop her. The pain was unbelievable, and every moment that passed seemed like it would be my last. I wanted it to be my last. I stopped feeling the cold marble floor underneath me, until all I felt was the burning sensation coursing through every inch of me. Tears pricked behind my eyes, but I refused to let him see me cry. I turned my face in the other direction. Another scream ripped through me.
"Shh…shh, it's okay. Wake up. Hey, wake up!" My cellmate's voice broke through my scream, until I jolted upright.
It took a while for me to recollect myself, to bring my breathing under control. I still couldn't see anything, and for a long time the only thing I could hear was the sound of my own gasping breath and beating heart. The room was still fairly cold, but I noticed that my cellmate still hadn't removed himself from the cot, so I assumed he'd taken what I said seriously. We were both still wrapped in the cloak, but he was barely touching me, the skin of his arm only just grazing against mine. I could still feel the warmth coming off him, though, and for that I was grateful.
"You sleep like the dead." His comment caught me off guard. Before, his tone had been almost concerned. Now, it was as dead pan as ever.
"I don't think this is a time to be making jokes." I took a deep breath, steadying my voice and deciding not to apologize for the rude awakening.
"I suppose you're right." He sighed, and I was surprised that he'd let that go so easily. His voice was worn out, tired, and again I wondered how long he'd been held captive. I knew he wouldn't give me a proper answer, so I didn't bother to ask again. "Was it a nightmare?"
I hadn't expected him to keep the conversation going, and it didn't sound like he was actually interested, but something spurred me to answer. "Yes."
It was a nightmare I hadn't suffered in a very long time. The last time was the day he went missing. It's assumed he ran away, cowardly snake that he is. Soon after the trial that acquitted him from crimes during the war, Draco Malfoy went under the radar, until no one heard anything from him. Ever. Working for the ministry, I was privy to more information than most, but not even the security detail they'd placed on him was able to track him down. Where he was now was anyone's guess, really, and we all had our theories. Personally, I was pretty sure he was state-side. The U.S. hadn't been affected much by the war, and the Malfoy name wasn't as well-known there as it was in Europe.
"What was it about?" This time, his voice held the faint hint of curiosity. Cloth ruffled somewhere beside me as I assumed he took a more comfortable position. His hand brushed mine as he moved, and the contact sent a small jolt through me. I jumped back, as if I'd been burned, from the surprise.
"The war." I moved, as well, so I could lean against the wall, making sure the cloak was firmly between the cold stone and me.
"Anything in particular?"
"Does it matter?" I turned defensive, then, unwilling to confide in a total stranger. Not even Harry and Ron knew about that particular nightmare.
"I guess not." He seemed to shrug, his arm brushing mine lightly. I crossed mine in front of my chest. "So how are we going to get out of here? You mentioned something about a possible plan?"
"You're very talkative today, aren't you?" He'd been quite tight-lipped the day before, or at least what I thought was the day before, and now he wouldn't stop talking. It seemed he was about to go back to being quiet, as he let my question hang in the air around us for what felt like a solid five minutes. "Hello? Still there?"
"Yeah." Great. I could almost feel the iciness in his tone. Some kind of barricade that had fallen was now back up once more. "The plan?"
Instead of antagonizing him further, I answered his original question. "I was thinking our best shot would be to try to get a wand from one of the guards. How often do they come in here?"
He scoffed. "You don't want to do that. They hardly come, and when they do, they'll take you and you won't come back. That's what happened to the last girl."
"The last girl wasn't me." I couldn't help the arrogance in my tone. He had so little faith.
"Ah yes, the great Hermione Granger here to save the day when she couldn't even save herself from being captured." My entire body went stiff when he said my name. "What were Potter and Weasley doing, anyway, that they weren't there to protect you?"
No. Way. I stood slowly from the cot, opting instead to walk across the room. I stumbled, thanks to the blindness, but eventually found the other wall.
"How long have you known who I am? Did you lie about being blinded?" Again, that self-consciousness started to creep up on me.
"Relax, I'm blind as a bat. And almost since the moment you were thrown in here."
"To be honest, your voice is hard to forget." I guess it had been a safe bet to assume he went to Hogwarts.
"Alright. You know who I am. Who are you?" He didn't respond for a long time, and for a moment, I felt utterly alone in the room, as if he'd simply disappeared from it. "Answer me."
"I will. When we're out of here. For now, I'm enjoying the anonymity." His tone and words only served to annoy me. Who did he think he was? You know who he is. No, I refused to entertain that particular idea. It was impossible. He'd been gone for over a year. If there was something Malfoys are good at, is staying out of reach.
"Fine. If you want to be uncooperative, by all means, I hope you enjoy it here. I, on the other hand, would much rather be on the other side of these walls."
"I never said I wouldn't cooperate."
"Then tell me how often the guards come around."
"I already did."
"How long was the last girl here before they c-collected her?" I was shivering again, the cold seeping its way back into me. He noticed, and I listened as he stood from the bed, crossing the small space between us and wrapping me in his cloak again, leading me back to the cot.
"It felt like three days."