Sunlight comes creeping in
Illuminates our skin
We watch the day go by
Stories of all we did
It made me think of you
Under a trillion stars,
We danced on top of cars
Took pictures of the state
So far from where we are
They made me think of you
Lights go down
In the moment we're lost and found
I just wanna be by your side
If these wings could fly
For the rest of our lives.
Draco Malfoy leaned his head on the cool stone wall of his prison cell, closing his eyes as he took deep breaths. He just had to keep breathing, that's all. If he kept breathing he would survive. He just had to survive. He shivered, pulling his tattered cloak around his shoulders. The cell was dark, the only light coming from the small hole in his cell. It hardly qualified as a window. Outside he could hear the ocean hundreds of feet below, crashing against the walls of Azkaban. Every now and then a dementor would glide by, blocking out the light of the moon. The dementors particularly enjoyed him. They infested this dark and filthy place, they gloried in the decay and despair, they drained all the happiness and hope from him and they left him a shell of his former self. They fed off all he had done, bringing horrible memories back to the front of his mind, memories he would love to forget, yet it was those memories that kept him sane. Reliving the pain of losing her, of hurting her, was stronger than what any dementor could do to him. He knew that if they fed on him long enough he would become just like them, soulless and evil, which wouldn't be hard since he already considered himself one of the foulest people he knew.
Fortunately for him, that didn't happen, as the new Minister of Magic got rid of the dementors around his second year in Azkaban. The new prison guards kept the prisoners in line by employing the Cruciatus Curse, keeping them too weak to attempt to escape. In a way the prison became more humane, the Cruciatus curse was only used when someone stepped out of line, but Malfoy suspected there were other charms at work to keep the prisoners weak. He never got to finding out.
Hating someone was easier than loving someone, but there was a very fine line between the two of them and no matter what he did to her, he couldn't hate her. He made her hate him, he had done everything in his power to ensure that she hated him and it worked brilliantly. She hated him, but not as much as he hated himself for all that he had done. He just had to keep telling himself that it was for the best, it was to protect her. He had to protect her, it was easier for her to hate him than for her to love him. If she had loved him it would have gotten her killed, it would have gotten them both killed. They lived in an extremely dangerous time to fall in love and he couldn't allow her to get hurt because of him, so he hurt her himself. He just had to keep telling himself it was the right thing to do.
Draco looked out of his window again, the clear night sky was a welcoming sight, so was the absence of the dementors. His father had gone mad before he could and bashed his own head in with a plate. Draco was allowed out of his cell to bury his father in the courtyard and to see his mother. Draco didn't feel any sadness when his father passed, the man didn't deserve to live anymore.
Then the day came when he was called from Azkaban by the new Minister of Magic to see if it were possible to lighten his sentence. He had no idea who the Minister was, but when he found out he knew his chances were shot. She wasn't the only one he tricked into hating him. Harry Potter had saved his life despite everything he had done to him, he knew Harry was a good person, but reducing his sentence might be asking for too much. He would take his chances though, it couldn't hurt.
He was terribly wrong about that.
It hurt more than he could ever describe it. His sentence was being reduced, which was a relief, but it was what happened in the courtroom that pulled out his heart.
Her hand was the only one in the air. He could see the hatred in those brown eyes, a hatred so deep he knew she could never love him again. He did a marvelous jab, but maybe he did it too well. He knew why she hated him, the memory was too clear...
Malfoy Manor 1995
Malfoy stood watching, his face white as ash. No, this can't be happening. He thought they were smarter than that. How on earth did they get caught? She was on the floor, Bellatrix holding her there. She was sobbing, pleading, screaming. His heart jerked with each scream and he had to keep himself rooted to the spot. Every instinct screamed that he had to help her but the rational part of him knew he couldn't afford to. If they found out...they would not only kill him but they would kill her and string her up for everyone to see. He couldn't allow that to happen.
"Please...stop..." She sobbed as Bellatrix just cackled. He could see the blood trickling down her arm and onto the floor. He knew that word would mark her forever. He knew that she would never be the same again. He finally snapped and his wand was raised. He would deal with the consequences, he just had to get them out of here.
"Stupify!" He yelled as the stream of red hit Bellatrix on the back and she collapsed on top of her. He wasted no time rushing over to her side. He pulled Bellatrix off her before pulling her into his arms. She was still sobbing. He looked at her arm, brushing his fingers gently over the mark.
"Ssh baby...it's okay...it's okay...she won't hurt you anymore." She wrapped her arms around him, hiding her face in his strong chest. He didn't know why, he'd been altering her memories for the past two years, but she still clung to him like she knew. "We don't have long," he told her as he kissed the top of her head, holding her tightly against him. They could have gotten out of here that second, he could give her memories back and they could run right now, but he knew they would never forgive themselves. They still had a part to play. Bellatrix was starting to stir just as Harry, Ron and Dobby came running into the room. Their eyes widened as they saw her in Malfoy's arms and he didn't think twice about what he was about to do.
He picked her up, handing her over to Ron.
"I'm going to erase your memories of this Harry, for her sake and for mine," Malfoy said as he pointed his wand at them. He didn't give Harry the chance to protest. "Obliviate."
He replaced their memories of him helping them with him just looking on, taking pleasure in their pain. He would always be a foul git to them, it was too late to change it now, he just had to keep telling himself that for once in his life he was doing the right thing.
He watched as their eyes glazed over before they returned to normal. He knew the moment she looked at him that this was the last straw, the resentment that filled her eyes would only grow. There was nothing he could ever do to fix things between them, she wouldn't let him.
Bellatrix had gotten to her feet now.
"Disarm me Harry!" Malfoy told him and Harry didn't waste any time doing it. Bellatrix shoved him out of the way, but Harry and Ron, with the help of Dobby, were faster. They were gone before she could get to them. Malfoy breathed, at least they were safe now. Bellatrix turned to him.
Malfoy's eyes shot open as he sat up in bed. He rubbed his face as he took a deep breath. What was he thinking?
He pushed his silver and green sheets off and made his way over to the bathroom. The early morning light was already filtering through the windows, it was one of those rare nights that he actually got some sleep, even if his sleep was haunted by his past. He leaned against the sink, taking another deep breath to calm his rapidly beating heart down. He regretted a lot of things in his life, but that was his biggest regret. He shouldn't have erased their memories, he should have gone with them and he should have fought on the right side, but things were rarely that easy. He opened the tap, putting his hands underneath the cold water before splashing his face a few times. Why did he come back to Hogwarts? He was Draco Malfoy, he could have done anything with his life. He was still young, only 28. Why did he have to go to the one place where his mistakes would bite him in the ass every day? He had no idea what he was doing. He should be trying to make things right between them, but the bad blood between them was thick. Instead he was just being a dick to her like always.
"Bloody brilliant Malfoy," he scolded himself as he raked his hands through his hair. He looked at himself in the mirror again, reminding himself why he really was here. As much as it was for her, he had other plans too. He was going to fix what he could; his House.
Later that morning Draco stood in the middle of the Slytherin Common Room, a slight smile tugging on his lips as he took in the familiar scene. It hasn't changed a bit. The green lighting from the lake still illuminated it and the green couches still stood in front of the fire place. He spent a lot of time in front of that fire place. He watched as the six Slytherin students trudged out of their dorm rooms and seated themselves on the couches. They looked tired and not at all enthusiastic about the coming school year. There were four seventh years, one sixth year and one fourth year. All of them looked equally miserable with their current situation, but he was going to change that.
"As you all know by now, my name is Draco Malfoy and I am your new head of house."
The kids shifted in their seats, avoiding eye contact with him. Finally one of the seventh years spoke up.
"You were a Death Eater," she said before lowering her gaze again.
"What's your name?" Malfoy asked as he grabbed a chair and sat down in front of them all. This was going to be harder than he thought.
"Yes Tehillah, I was a Death Eater. I don't have to defend my actions to any of you, or tell you why I chose to be one, because in the end it was my choice and I have my reasons for it. I know earning your trust won't be easy, but I am going to try." Malfoy's gaze moved over each of the students as a few of them looked at him.
"You can start earning our trust by telling us why you became a Death Eater," Tehillah said, not backing down from the subject. "Not a single one of us here are pureblood and we wouldn't feel comfortable with having an ex Death Eater as a head of house."
It was clear that Tehillah was the more outspoken one of them all, and that she felt protective over the rest of the students. That was a hood thing, it meant that they were loyal to each other. She reminded him a little of Hermione.
He ran his hands through his hair. "There are a lot of reasons, and what you all should understand is that war is complicated. I became a Death Eater because I had to protect the people I love from getting hurt. As you may know most of the members in my family were Death Eaters, if they found out I was in love with..." Malfoy stopped and cleared his throat. "It doesn't matter, you have your reason."
"You can't leave us hanging like that!" The fourth year spoke up, sitting up a little straighter. She had blonde hair and large glasses that framed her face. "Oh I'm Abby by the way."
The corners of Malfoy's mouth pulled up in a smirk and he shook his head. "I can and I will. All you need to know is that I left the Death Eaters before the war ended. What's important to me now is winning your trust."
"Why?" One of the seventh year boys spoke up as he looked at Malfoy. "Why is it so important to win our trust? Why do you care? The last head of house didn't." The boy reminded Malfoy of himself, except he had light brown hair and piercing green eyes. "Marcus," he added on.
"It's important to me Marcus because this house is my house too. I'm not the last head of house. Slytherin has gained a dark reputation, one that I know we can change. Look around," Malfoy said as he gestured at the empty common room. "I remember when this common room was full of students, laughing and having fun. Do you want this to be your fate? Your legacy? Tehillah you mentioned that none of you were purebloods, well that never mattered. Being in Slytherin is not about your blood status, being in Slytherin is about being a leader, being loyal, intelligent and determined. All of those qualities can be used for good, and we're going to prove it."
"That's great, but how do we prove it?" Marcus asked, he was clearly very skeptical about all of this.
"We have to change the image of Slytherin. You all have to remember that not all dark wizards come from Slytherin. Some of the best people I know come from this house."
"Like who?" Another seventh year boy spoke up. "Garrett," he added.
"Severus Snape, he was Headmaster of Hogwarts during the war and he gave his life to save me and Harry Potter."
Garrett's eyes went wide as Malfoy mentioned Harry Potter and he sat up straighter, moving to the edge of the couch. "Who else?"
Malfoy almost smiled again. "Harry Potter himself was almost sorted into Slytherin because he had all the qualities that could make a great Slytherin. He was loyal, clever, resourceful and he had a certain disregard for the rules. Being in Slytherin does not make you a bad person. Great Wizards like Merlin came from Slytherin. It's what's inside that matters."
"So how do we do it?" Tehillah asked.
"First, loyalty. You have to show the school that Slytherin's stick together. If you can't be friends with the people in your house you can't be friends with people in other houses. Second, we're going to try to be nice to the other houses. You're not bad kids, we just have to show everyone else. Third, we're going to win the House Cup."
This grabbed everyone's attention as six pairs of eyes were now trained on him.
"How do we do that?" Garrett asked. "Slytherin hasn't won that cup in twenty years."
"Another trait of a Slytherin is cleverness. Do good in your classes, ask for help when you need it and offer help when you see someone who needs it. Do that and we should be fine. Now, how many of you can play Quidditch?"
"All of us can," Marcus said as he gestured to the four seventh years. "But Abby and Mika can't. Besides, we don't have enough players."
"That's alright, we can teach Mika and Abby. We don't have to win this year, it's not all about winning. We just have to get in the game and show some good sportsmanship. Marcus, I'm naming you team captain. I'll ask the Headmistress if we can play without a chaser in the mean time. Get on the pitch as soon as possible. Now come on, let's get to breakfast."
Hermione watched as Draco Malfoy, accompanied by the Slytherin students, entered the Great Hall for breakfast. They were talking amongst themselves and one of the older boys appeared to be describing something in great detail to two of the younger girls. Malfoy was talking with the other three and instead of sitting at the teachers table he sat with them.
"That's the first time I've seen those kids happy," Neville said as he buttered his toast. Hermione and Neville weren't the only ones who noticed the change in the Slytherin students. The Great Hall was silent as they started at the Slytherin table in shock. It was the first time all of the students were sitting together and talking. "Looks like Malfoy is doing something right."
Hermione nodded in agreement. "Yeah, looks like it. I didn't know he was so good with kids."
Neville shrugged as he reached for the jam. "He seems like an okay bloke, Azkaban must have put things in perspective for him."
Hermione grabbed her own piece of toast along with some bacon and eggs. Her eyes never left the Slytherin table. She hoped for the students' sake that he was going to do right by them.