“Hey,” Draco said as he entered Grace’s room. It was the first time he had talked to her in weeks, and he wanted to do it alone. “There’s a plate of food waiting for you outside in the hall…”
Grace continued to let out muffled cries into her pillow.
Draco sat on the bed and touched her shoulder, “Would you like me to get it for you?” He voice was soft.
“I loved them so much…”
Grace felt a hand brush back several strands of her hair, “And they loved you too…they cared for you…”
“They were squibs, they did nothing wrong!”
Draco wrapped his arms around her shaking frame.
“THEY DID NOTHING WRONG!” Grace repeated into his shoulder. She continued to cry in his arms until they eventually became hiccups. Unraveling herself, Grace looked at him with blood shot eyes. “For a whole year, I took away their memories of me, so I can keep them safe from the war.” A frown began to grow on her small features, “And now…”
The blonde hugged her again, letting the tears seep through his dress shirt. “I wish I had the right words…but just know I care.”
Grace gave a watery giggle and gazed at him again, “My dad, Mr. Granger, he said that to me whenever I was worried about Harry’s safety.” A saddened smile spread across her cheeks, “along with a glass of milk…”
“Really?” Draco looked at her, “My mother used to do the same thing.”
The girl’s face became flushed as she remembered Draco was suffering from a loss as well, “Harry told me she was a kind woman.”
Draco nodded, “She was the most loving person I’ve known in my life…aside from you of course.” He noted Grace physically blush. “From your story I can assure you that your parents were extremely loving people. You were lucky to have had that.”
“I know.” Grace pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. “I’m tired of crying all the time. I’m tired not being as strong as I once was.” She looked out the window, “They would want me to be like I used to be…how they raised me.”
Draco watched as Grace let out a deep breath, symbolizing that her heartache had subsided. After a few minutes of silence, he reached for her hand. “Have you ever seen my father without leather gloves?”
The girl jumped at his sudden words, “N-no?”
“All these years…he had been hiding something from the first war.” He kept his gaze upon their intertwined fingers. “He had a silver hand.”
Grace’s eyes dilated at the mention of such dark magic. Was it possible someone other than Peter Pettigrew, had obtained such a punishment from the Voldemort?
“The silver hand was a piece in a sacrifice my father had to make before I was born, in order to obtain Selwyn’s locket. The Dark Lord controlled my father with it, so if he would ever present any sign of treason or weakness…my father would be forced to kill himself…after he killed the rest of his family first.”
For once, tears started to appear in Draco’s grey irises, “After the war…many people were unkind to our family. Our company’s stocks began to dwindle and all former support we had was seized.” He glanced at Grace and continued, “Lucius was becoming unstable. He would abuse my mother physically and mentally, and one day…the night before I left for Hogwarts…he strangled my mother in her sleep.” Draco gulped the saliva sticking in his throat, “He couldn’t control himself anymore… and after he killed my mother. He tried to kill me.”
Draco closed his eyes as he remembered those chilling words. “I’m sorry Draco. It’s what we deserve, what I-I deserve. Forgive me.”
“He wanted me to forgive him before he killed me.”
Grace had to say something, “Drac-”
“I was going to let him…it had been my plan from the start, but then you came along and showed me that I could be forgiven. For everything I’ve done.” Draco held onto her hands tight, “So I went home…and I killed him.”
Grace pulled her hand out of his grasp. “Draco…”
“Don’t think of me as a murderer, please. The man who had been confined to my home was no longer my father. My father has been dead for a long time.” The blonde said, “Please. I am no murderer.”
“Draco,” Grace held his face in her palms, “I know you couldn’t kill your own father. You couldn’t kill anyone who was close to you…even Dumbledore.” She searched his eyes for any sign of life, “What you did…what you’ve done…I will not judge you for.”
Draco leaned his head in the crook of her neck and the two of them shed a few tears. A weight had been lifted from both of their shoulders, leaving only truth and acceptance in the air. Finally, Draco didn’t have to hide and Grace had regained her strength.
After a minute or two, Draco lifted his head. “Blaise, I know you’re listening. So come in.”
The door creaked open and Blaise stepped inside with a guilty grin. “Uh…hey?”