By Firelight

The Pensieve

There was a great tension in that house in the hours to follow. Meanwhile, Mrs. Weasley set to write to her husband at work about all that had happened. With all her experience in the Order of the Phoenix, she had learned how to pass on news to fellow members without arousing suspicion and curiosity from Death Eaters, but this was a completely different matter. How would she be able to tell him that two known Death Eaters, specifically Lucius Malfoy's wife and son, were sitting in his living room, whispering to each other? It all seemed too strange to be real, and Molly was far from sure of how Arthur would react to the situation at hand.

While she thought over what to write, Narcissa scolded Draco furiously for what he had done. "What in Heaven's name were you thinking, Draco? What could have possessed you to snap your own wand at a time like this?"

"It was the only way," Draco answered simply. When Narcissa continued to stare at him, her eyes frantic and disbelieving, he continued, the tension evident in his voice. "What else could I possibly have done or said that would send the message? And what, exactly, were you planning to do to prove we're not just trying to attack from within? Think about it!" His tone had turned cold, despite himself. He tried once again to appear calm. "Just think about it."

In the darkened silence that followed, he looked around for the first time since he had arrived. The wooden floor and tables were cluttered with books and newspapers, a wizard chess set, and a few pairs of scuffed shoes, making the small place look more like a storage area than a living room. Still, the fireplace glowed at a slow, relaxing pace, and Draco saw as he glanced out a small window that rain was beginning to slide down the glass pane.

With a heavy sigh, Draco sat back and let his thoughts wander out that window and back to Malfoy Manor. The curse that had started this exhausting era in his life had not been the last; rather, the fact that he had not been expecting it – dreading it – only made it less of a horror to him. The flame that started that day had burned strong and hard over the years, and had scorched itself deep into Draco's soul. And the vast majority of the blows cast by Lucius had fallen on Draco within the walls of Malfoy Manor. Yet sometimes, even when it seemed at its most impossible, just the idea that Lucius might someday think of him as a son, rather than an unworthy heir, was enough to get him through the darkest of days. He looked into the fire, allowing himself a few moments of weakness while more half-memories, half-daydreams approached him, as they often did while he was alone.

There's more to my story than you could ever guess.

Just look in my Pensieve and let my past do the rest.

If I ever had the right to be afraid, it was lost

Long before I knew what fear really was...

At first, when the lines occurred to Draco, he thought little of them, but they nagged at him so that he couldn't ignore them and, remembering that he wasn't completely empty-handed, he nearly smiled again as he withdrew a square of folded-up, white parchment, and the self-inking quill he had purchased less than a year ago in Diagon Alley. He wrote quickly, then looked up to find Ron sitting in the chair next to him, reading the blonde's handwriting at a ninety-degree angle. Aghast, Draco scooped up the parchment and quill and let out a disgusted scoff. "Tchah! What's your problem-?" (He reminded himself just in time not to call him by his surname) "Do you mind?" He demanded, glaring at him through narrowed eyes. If there was any one person there that Draco was least trusting of, it was this particular Weasley.

"Yeah, I do, actually," replied Ron, who was now glaring back. "You have a Pensieve, then? What on earth would you need one of those for?"

Draco closed his eyes for a moment, exasperated. "No," he snarled, "but if I did, would I be letting you know what's in it?"

Ron made a grab for the parchment, but Draco pulled it away again and put it in his pocket. "Liar. You were writing about your Pensieve, Malfoy. I'll bet you have one right in your room, just for the sake of owning one."

"Ugh," was all Draco could manage to say. There was no reasoning with Ronald Weasley, as Draco was quickly learning. "Nice talking to you, Weasley." He had let himself slip, too frustrated to stop himself, but he knew better than to stick around to 'apologize' for the mistake. He got up to walk away, but to his disgust, Ron followed.

"Where are you going now?" Ron asked, sounding as if Draco had just walked away from a meaningful and important conversation.

"Away," Draco tried, but the retort backfired.

"Good idea," Ron said comfortably, his arms folded over his chest, and he stopped hounding behind Draco. "For that matter, keep walking."

Draco fumed, wishing painfully that he had kept his wand intact. Even more, he wished he had not been so stupid as to put his trust in Harry Potter. Now, not only was he an attempted murderer according to the Ministry, as well as a traitor and escapee in the eyes of the Dark Lord and a shameful excuse for a Malfoy as far as his father was concerned, but he was also to be Ron's new revenge outlet. With Ronald watching his every move, weakness was out of the question. No, a single tiny tear would give the pest twice the venom he already had. But the pressure pounding into his lungs with every heartbeat was growing stronger. He knew he had never tried to befriend Ron, but there were reasons for that - couldn't the spoiled redhead see that he'd always deserved what he'd gotten from Draco? Couldn't he understand that to return those cold remarks was nothing short of cruel? It's so unfair... thought Draco bitterly as he returned to his writing spot.

He looked over his shoulder before taking the quill and parchment back out of his cloak pocket. Damn that Weasley! he thought, his newly-bought parchment now wrinkled and slightly torn from Ron trying to snatch it away. He turned it over, ironed it out with his hand, and wrote, nearly breaking the quill in his rage:

Dear whoever,
I hope this is as bad as it can get.

Draco

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