Somewhere beyond happiness and sadness

I need to calculate what creates my own madness

And I'm addicted to your punishment

And you’re the master, and I am waiting for disaster

I feel irrational, so confrontational

To tell the truth I am getting away with murder

It is impossible to never tell the truth

But the reality is I'm getting away with murder

I drink my drink and I don't even want to

I think my thoughts when I don't even need to

I never look back cause I don't even want to

And I don’t need to, because I'm getting away with murder

-Getting Away With Murder by Papa Roach

The boy’s eyes opened slowly. They were glazed over with the drug they had given him, and it took him a few minutes to become fully conscious. When he did, Draco, Charlie, and Ron were waiting. They sat on storage crates around the cage, Ron pacing, Charlie cleaning under his fingernails with a pocket knife, and Draco staring at the moon silently. They heard him groan in pain as he felt the throbbing in his head. He probably wouldn’t have been able to stand on his own, but he didn’t need to, with his hands chained behind his back and his body chained to the tree behind him. Blaise Zabini’s eyes caught sight of Draco first. “You…what the hell are you doing here?”

Draco lifted an eyebrow, looking around him. They sat in the thick, cold Romanian woods, alone, though there was a camp for wizards such as Charlie to study dragons twenty kilometers west and the school known as Durmstrang a few kilometers east. They sat in front of a huge cage, in which slept a dragon, kept dormant by a stronger drug than they had used on Zabini. Opposite the cage Zabini was tied to a large tree.

“I think the question you should be asking…is what are you doing here, Zabini?” Draco whispered, glancing lazily at him.

The boy smirked. “You’re here to kill me. I’m not stupid. I heard about Crabbe going missing and Goyle ‘breaking’ into Gringotts. I knew you were coming for me. I just want you to know, you’ll never get away with it.”

“Won’t we?” Draco asked. “A dragon escaped from its cage. It attacked Durmstrang school for boys. At least one student was tragically burned to death.”

“Yeah right. Like anyone would believe that.” He sneered. “I see two major flaws in your plan, Malfoy. One, I’m here, not anywhere near the castle. Two, a dragon would have no reason to attack me unprovoked. And if you do provoke it, who’s to say it wouldn’t turn on you?”

“Very good observations indeed.” Draco ambled towards Zabini. “But in the chaos of a dragon attack on a school, I doubt anyone would notice us subtly place a body somewhere on the grounds. Especially if we’re hiding under an Invisibility Cloak. And the dragon would have no reason to attack us. We’re not the ones holding its treasure.” Draco touched the golden amulet hanging around Zabini’s neck. “Dragons don’t like it when you steal their treasure, Zabini. Tsk tsk.”

“What?!” The boy grimaced, glancing down at his neck, then at the sleeping dragon. “You bastard!”

“I’m the bastard am I?!” Draco wheeled around, slamming his fists against the tree on either side of Zabini’s face. “I’m not the one who raped a sixteen year old girl. Who stole her virginity and tried to take her life. Who tortured her mercilessly for the sheer pleasure of hearing her scream.” Draco took a deep breath to calm himself. “I have a question to ask you before you die, Zabini. Who was the other rapist?”

The boy chuckled, shaking his head. “As if I would tell you.”

“I have my methods of persuasion.” Draco grabbed one of the boy’s hands, grasping a single slender finger. In a quick motion, he broke it at the knuckle. Zabini screamed in pain, thrashing to get away from him, but to no avail. “Tell me, Zabini.”

“No.” Another finger. Draco commanded him again. “Fuck you, Malfoy!” His voice was becoming more strained from the pain. A third finger. He was crying now. But still he refused. “You can break all my damn fingers, but I’ll never tell you. That stupid bitch deserved what he gave her, and I hope he gets her again. She wasn’t even a good fuck.”

Draco lifted a hand to strike him, but a hand on his arm held him back. “Draco, we don’t have much time. We must follow our plans. He won’t tell, there is no point in forcing him.” Charlie’s soothing voice calmed him, and he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath, ignoring Zabini’s chuckles.

“Every bit of pain you inflicted on her, you will feel a thousand times over, Zabini. I want to hear you laughing then.” He dropped his fist and stepped away from the tree. Ron followed him, getting as far away from the cage as they could while still keeping Zabini in sight. Charlie awoke the dragon, pulling open the huge cage.

The dragon took a few minutes to awaken fully. When it had, it stepped out of the cage, stretching its gigantic wings and letting out a roar. Charlie got its attention, and with some persuasion, directed it towards the boy tied to the tree. With its sharp eyes and incredible sense of smell, it did not take the dragon long to realize the boy wore its treasure. It turned its massive head slowly to look at Zabini and stalked towards him, snorting hot smoke out of its nostrils. Draco saw Zabini noticeable shaking against the tree, his face contorted in fear. The dragon reared up, whipping out its front leg. The claw snatched into Zabini’s chest, tearing through his shirt and flesh, blood spurting out of him. As the dragon fell back to the earth, a long stream of fire left its nostrils.

The smell of burnt hair and flesh filled Draco’s nose. He watched as the entire tree caught on fire, the bright orange and red flames licking up into the branches, and heard the dying screams of the boy. He did not pull his eyes away, he could not, but only watched with an odd sense of awe and satisfaction as, through the orange and gold flames licking up the tree, the flesh burn off of the boy, leaving him nothing but a raw, burnt husk of muscle and bone, his eyes and mouth gone, his voice dying out into nothing. Draco stared as the flames ate the boy alive with the satisfaction that a devil would. A smile curled up on his lips.

Ginny made her way down the hall, her jacket under her arm, a smile on her face. She headed for the nearest door that would take her outside to the grounds and lake, where other students were already enjoying the warm spring air. It was March 1, and, as if on queue, the weather had turned suddenly warm, the snow had melted to patches of wet, muddy slush, the sun had emerged from behind the heavy, dark clouds of winter, and a few brave buds had poked their heads out of the freshly turned earth.

None of the students could concentrate during classes, their eyes straying every few minutes to the windows, their bodies longing to soak up the sun before the night blew in cold air from the mountains and it was all covered once more by a sheet of ice. As soon as the bell had rung signaling the end of afternoon classes, the students had swarmed outside in a rush, Ginny along with them, though she’d opted to drop off her books in her room first. Draco was already waiting for her outside, and she wanted to lay with him in the grass and enjoy the sunshine.

The halls were fairly empty by now, especially this obsolete one off by itself in a corner of the school. She didn’t have any classes down here, she didn’t even think there were any classrooms here, but she knew there was a door leading out to the grounds and the Green Houses, and that most Herbology students took the route to avoid the chaos of the main halls. Ginny was almost to the exit when she heard a voice behind her calling her name. She turned, expecting it was someone she knew, but grimaced when her eyes landed on the speaker.

Ugh. Pug-faced Pansy. She was certainly someone Ginny did not want to have an encounter with right now. Her day had been so perfect until she’s set eyes on the ugly, annoying girl. “What do you want, Parkinson? I’m busy.”

“I’d like to have a word with you, Weasley.” The girl put her hands on her hips, a smirk on her face. She was alone for once, without her entourage of annoying, slimy Slytherins.

“About? I’m a bit busy.”

“Oh, well, I promise not to take up too much of your time. If you don’t mind, I’d rather keep this private.” With a sweeping motion of her arm she invited Ginny into the classroom in which she now stood. Ginny glanced over her shoulder at the dark, dusty, unused room.

“I think I’ll stay out here, thank you.”

“What? Afraid of me?” She shrugged her shoulders. “Fine. But it’s about this.” She held up a Daily Prophet. From this far away, Ginny couldn’t read it. She cautiously stepped closer, holding out a hand, but the girl refused to hand it to her. Finally, she was able to get a good look at it. There was a picture of Durmstrang on the front, she’d never seen it before, but she’d heard descriptions, and the captions gave it away. “Durmstrang attacked by escaped dragon, one death.” She turned her eyes away from the picture of a dragon breathing fire on the school.

“I don’t see what this has to do with me, Parkinson.” Ginny said.

“Oh, but I think you do.”

“And what is that?” Ginny crossed her arms over her chest, lifting an eyebrow to challenge her.

Parkinson stepped closer, until they were nose to nose.

“Because the boy that was killed was my boyfriend, Blaise Zabini.”

Ginny lifted her chin defiantly. She already knew this, of course. She’d known for a week, long before the paper had been issued. Draco had told her his deeds, had ensured her that he’d covered everything up nicely, and that, besides Zabini’s charred remains, they would find no other bodies. Ginny was thankful no innocents had been hurt. “I’m sorry for you loss,” she said, though there was not an ounce of pity or remorse in her voice. “Now if you don’t mind—”

As Ginny turned to leave, she felt a tug on her hair, and she was sent flying backwards. She stared up at Pansy Parkinson from the floor, the girl standing over her body with a glare. “You’re boyfriend killed my Blaise. I don’t know how, but I know he did.”

“Well go tell you’re theories to the aurors. See if they give a shit. Because I don’t.” Ginny tried to sit up, but the girl pushed her back down, her heel digging into Ginny’s chest.

“I don’t think you understand. My lover is dead. And for what? For fucking an ugly bitch like you?” She grabbed Ginny by the shirt, lifting her up, and pushed her backwards, into the small classroom. Ginny stumbled and fell onto a pile of chairs, and when she managed to pull herself out of them, Parkinson stood in the door, her wand raised. Ginny fumbled for her own, but could not find it. She cursed herself for her own stupidity; she’d left it back in her room, thinking she would not need it if she was only going to spend an afternoon lazing around in the grass by the lake.

“What are you going to do, Parkinson? Curse me? Kill me? I think that will be a bit hard to explain.” She tried to keep her voice steady, though her heart was pounding so hard in fear she was certain the girl heard it.

“Oh no. I told you I would get you when you least expected it, didn’t I? Well, I found a way that is much better than cursing or murdering you.” A smirk lifted on her lips. “Though you’ll wish you were dead.” The girl lifted her wand, sending a spell flying over Ginny’s head. Ginny ducked to avoid it, and when she looked up again, the door was closed, and Parkinson was gone.

Ginny rose to her feet, glancing around the room. At first she felt only annoyance and confusion, but as the seconds stretched on, a new sensation dawned on her. That of being watched. Of someone else in the room with her. She turned slowly, a heavy feeling of dread coming over her heart.

A black cloak swished around heavy boots. Her eyes traveled up the cloak slowly, the body before her clad all in black. The sun shining through the windows was a contrast to the darkness, and cast a strange halo around him, reminding her of an angel of death. Her eyes rose to the face, or where the face would be, anyway, but his head was covered in a hood, concealing his face in shadows. When he stepped forward, a sliver of light reached into the hood, lighting it up what lie beneath. A mask, its expression contorted in greed, mirth, cruelty, and hatred. A Death Eater mask. And set deep in that mask, a brilliantly bright pair of icy blue eyes. “Hello Ginny. At last, we meet again.”

Draco lay in the grass, the warm sun making his body feel hot and sticky, even though he didn’t wear a shirt. Ginny lay beside him on her back, her red hair fanned out beneath her, completely naked but for her white cotton panties. Draco sat up, staring at the girl beside him. She seemed to glow, no, sparkle, in the sunlight. Her pale white skin was tantalizing against the green backdrop of the dewy grass. Her red hair glinted like the bright flames Draco stared into a week ago. Her finger pulled at a blade of grass, and her toes curled in the lake’s cool water that occasionally reached up to grab at them.

Draco watched as a bead of sweat formed at the base of her neck. Mesmerized, he studied it as it traced its way down her chest, like a river flowing between the mountains of her breasts. It stopped at her belly button, forming a small lake in the tiny hole, but Draco’s eyes did not. They traveled even further down, to Ginny’s small hips, the curve of her thighs as they arched into the air, her knees bent at an angle, casting shadows on the grass. Draco leaned over the girl, hands on either side of her, and lowered his face, his lips brushing hers.

Her brown eyes opened slowly, the long lashes sweeping over her cheeks like a painter’s brush, and she smiled up at him. “Draco.” His name whispered on the wind. “Draco.” She reached up a hand to tangle it in his long hair. Then she slapped him.

Draco sat up with a startled yelp. The sun was blindingly bright, and he had to shield his eyes against it. It took him a few moments to get his bearings and realize that, although he had been lying in the grass, Ginny was not lying naked beside him, and that her “slap” had been the splash of cold water on his face. He searched for the person who had woken him from his dream, and his eyes landed on Neville Longbottom, who had his pant’s legs pulled up to his knees and was splashing in the water with Loony Luna.

“Oi, sorry about that, Malfoy. Didn’t mean to get you wet.” The boy glanced nervously at Draco, as if to gauge his anger. He, like many Gryffindors, still wasn’t sure what to think about Draco’s new-found interest in Ginny or the fact that he sat with Gryffindor house rather than Slytherin during meals.

“What time is it?” Draco asked with a yawn.

The boy glanced at his watch. “Just past five o’clock. We should probably head in for dinner now, Luna.”

“Five?!” Draco shot up, fully awake now. “Ginny was supposed to meet me here an hour ago.”

They glanced at him in surprise, confused by his outburst. “Well, maybe she changed her mind?”

“Perhaps she was eaten by a Crumple-Horned Snorkack,” Luna pointed out helpfully.

“No…she wouldn’t change her mind without telling me.” Draco’s eyes swept over the grounds, just in case he’d missed her. There were plenty of students out, but none with Ginny’s tell-tale fiery red hair. “Did you guys see her?”

Neville shook his head uselessly. Luna smiled up at him. “Oh. Now that I think about it…I did see her just a few minutes ago. I think.”

“Where was she?” Draco asked.

“She was talking to that Slytherin girl…the one who looks like one of those dogs with a squished in face,” Luna replied.

“Pansy Parkinson?”

“Maybe…they didn’t seem to be getting along, at any rate. Looked like they were going to have a nasty fight, they did. I didn’t think much of it.”

“Where was she?” Draco repeated his question.

“You know, you shouldn’t dismiss Crumple-Horned Snorkacks so easily. They can be very dangerous—” Draco grabbed the girl by the shoulders, shaking her.

“I said, where the hell is she?!”

“Oh. Over by the Green Houses. The old hallway we use as a short-cut from Divinations.” The girl continued to ramble on, but Draco didn’t hear the rest of it. He took off running, heading for the Green Houses, which were, thankfully, not far away. Knowing Ginny, she was waist deep in trouble by now.

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