"Stop it." I ordered looking away. First down at my cuts then the floor.
"When?" Draco asked.
"W-why would you do this to yourself?"
"You don't understand."
"Clearly I don't." he snapped, before letting go of my hand and kneeling on the floor. "So make me understand." I brought my legs to my chest and hugged them with by good arm - my bad arm on the arm rest of the sofa. He - as gently as he could - ran his fingers along my arm. I winced but kept up arm where it was. "Is this why you got yourself excluded? Ran out of space on your arm? Wouldn't be ale to bandage it probably if you cut your right? So you unintentionally made Alcohol appear in front of you and drank it?"
"NO!" I yelled into my knees.
"I'm trying to understand."
"Accusing me of regularly cutting myself isn't going to do that is it?" Draco took hold of my ankles and carefully forced them to the floor. Then he put two fingers below my chin and made me look at him.
"Are you regularly cutting yourself?"
"No. I did it once. Just once. I swear."
"Once?" Draco asked. "How depressed and shit about yourself do you have to feel for this to be once?"
"You don't understand how I feel."
"Don't I?" Draco pulled down the sleeve to his own left arm. He had a pinkish oval shaped scar.
"It looks like a burn."
"It isn't. That's what most people would think when they look at it. Astoria even thinks it's a burn and we've been married nearly a decade. What this really is .. is a 18 year old me cutting off a part of my own skin."
"Why?" I asked. Half out of interest, half out of confusion. You didn't need to be some expert therapist or super depressed person to know that cutting off your skin isn't how people cut themselves. I just didn't feel like saying it out loud.
"I was already depressed from what had happened during the war. Lucius was constantly going on about taking over the world. Continuing the Dark Lord's plans by being Lord Voldemort the Second. Both of them trying to get me to help them with their insane plans. I was trying to bring back their sanity but they wouldn't listen and I grew sick of it. So I thought the only way they would listen was if their precious son was harming himself. So I cut off my own skin. Purposely made noise so they would come up to my room. When they did I was cutting off the last bit skin that would make it fall onto the white sheets on the floor. I already had Phoenix tears ready to make it heal. But mother used the accio spell to get more and poured the entire thing on the wound. Half my skin regrew in this pink colour. She then poured the other bottle over my arm and the rest of my skin grew, with this scar. We tried using more Phoenix tears but the wound had been to severe even for Phoenix tears not to leave a scar. I thought it would help but all I got was yelling and screaming. It stopped them going on about world domination for a few days but that was it."
"Are you going to tell my mum and dad about me .. cutting myself."
"What's the point? They'll just yell at you. You'll be more upset than you were before and do it again."
"Did you ever cut yourself again?" their was a short silence.
"I've wanted to." he admitted. "But I didn't." he placed his hand on my knee. I put my hand on his.
Suddenly I saw a vision. Draco had just left the paranoid version of me, when I thought Lucius was trying to kidnap me. He Hologram called Narcissa and told her to 'apperate here now.' She did. Draco asked her why she was at Hogwarts earlier that day. The vision ended and I was back in reality.
I could tell from Draco's face he had seen the vision as well.
"You spoke to Narcissa?"
"I was going to tell you. But then I noticed the bandages and that became top priority." he explained, while standing up and looking at me. I didn't look at him.
"You spoke to Narcissa?" I repeated, more angrily.
"Yes did. Because you had just finished a crying fit over well-justified paranoia and I wanted to know what she was doing trying to talk to you."
"And what lies did she tell you?"
"She wasn't lying."
"Why are you defending her? After everything she's done-"
"What has she done? Narcissa never psychically hurt you."
"Yes she did. When I was three. During your Honeymoon with Astoria, Narcissa caught me going through the cupboards. She grabbed my shoulder and was shaking me while she called me names. So I called her a horrible old woman and she slapped me around the face." Draco took hold of my hand.
"I'm not saying what she did was right. I'm saying that .. that was one time. Can you put a number on how many times Lucius hit you?"
"Lucius did most of the psychical abuse Narcissa did most of the mental."
"Exactly." Draco said triumphantly. I thought to myself while a silence laid in the air. I thought of Lucius and fact that he was Draco's father.
"What was your childhood like?" I asked. "With Lucius as your father." I added.
"He was the only option for a role model I had so when I was little I idolized him. Tried behaving like him - often got laughed at for that -" Draco began turning his head to look at me then looking back at his which he lifted and took a sip of.
Despite the fact it probably would be cold by now. "I was so young that when yelled or I heard screams I thought it was normal. Then when I was 9 Lucius let me go around his friend's houses who had children my age. At first I thought they were the abnormal ones, but then I learned different. When I was having to listen to the shouting I curled into a ball on my bed and tried to block out the noise. At my friend's house I didn't have to do that - I was allowed to have fun. I was confused. I still idolized him. On my thirteenth birthday he said he left the house to me 'an extra special present.' I heard crying so I went to Mum's room and saw the red mark on her cheek her bleeding lip. She told me to go downstairs and she'll be down in a minute. From then on I became more aware of what was going on. My temper grew shorter and shorter. Most of the time I decided that I hated him, that he was a horrible man who should just dead although I was determined to try and change him. Make him stop. I got myself hit by him a few times. But I tried to never give up. My priority was to protect my mother. When the two of them made you I knew mother was only doing what she was doing because she was scared of Lucius. And everything she's doing now is because she's scared. I know being so young you wouldn't of seen it but it's the truth. I know that for certain now. Protecting both you and Mother is my new priority."
"As well as being a husband and father?" I questioned.
"They've been part of my priorities since I first looked at them." he replied, giving me a look that said: You'll understand when your older. Another silence laid.
"And what did you and Narcissa say to each other?" I said slowly.
"I ranted for a good 30 seconds, which ended with me asking 'Tell me what the bloody hell you were doing here'."
"And what did she say?!" I snapped, when he stalled by taking another sip of tea.
"She said she was trying to warn you about something."
"Oh yeah cause grabbing someone's arm really convince someone of that."
"She said she was in a rush. Lucius knew she was their. Didn't have time for a ten twenty minute conversation. She was about to tell me what she needed to warn you about when Lucius appeared next to her and apperated them away. I spent all of yesterday tracking them down. Found them this morning. Mother had all these cuts and bruises on her face. She whispered that Lucius said you were useless to them until you were sixteen, but Lucius wanted to play and mess about with your mind by . . ." his voice trailed away. He was too scared to just spit it out.
"Carry on. By what?" I demanded.
"Promise me you won't become paranoid or over-protective."
"Just bloody tell me."
"By ... kidnapping Lilly." he stated.
"How .. do you .. expect me not .. to get paranoid about that?!" I said gradually through gritted teeth.
"Because Lucius is smart. He's evil. But smart. He could know Mother isn't one hundred percent on his side told her that so she would tell you. He wants to play mind games, telling you he's going to kidnap your sister then not is the perfect way to do that."
"Lilly is my baby sister. I might not of been their when she was born, but that bond, that automatic promise to never let her get harmed in any way, all of that still happened. And you will never understand. The only people who can understand are other people who are the oldest sibling. I'm am not - will not risk Lilly's life over my problems."he nodded, knowing he had no point to argue against mine.
Their was yet another silence. It only broke when Draco used the Summoning Charm to get a bottle of phoenix tears to heal my self-harm and again when he used magic to do my chores. He then downed his stone cold tea, we said our goodbyes and he left. Half an hour later Mum, Dad, Albus and Lilly came home. It was 7:30. I instantly began to smother Lilly. I went into a long speech to mum and dad about how strange it felt not having anyone in my room last night - which was lie - so asked if Lilly could sleep on the sofa in my room until I went back to Hogwarts. Luckily Lilly loved the idea and did cute little begging face on Mum and Dad, which forced them to agree.
James came home mid-afternoon on the Sunday before half-term officially begun. I instantly ran up and hugged him tight, like I normally did, however the when we let go, James suggested we go to play in my room, I said 'Sure we can but can we invite Lilly as well? We've been doing some intense sibling bonding while you weren't here.' Luckily he didn't seem upset, he seemed more happy to let our little sis join in.
By the Wednesday night- about 8:30PM - Mum and dad had sent Lilly to bed, James and Albus had gone to their rooms to watch TV and was sitting on the sofa with Mum and Dad either side of me.
"Why are you being so protective of Lilly lately?" Mum asked.
"She's my sister." I replied.
"Well yeah. But recently if Lilly wants to go in the garden to play on the bench-swing you go running out after her. If it was the other way around you'd be telling her to go away and stop following you." Dad explained.
"As if you know!" I snapped referring to him being an only child.
"He might not know but I know what it's like to be the youngest. And I can tell you it gets so infuriating when you get treated like a baby all the time, just because of when you were born."
"You're talking like she's thirteen and I've scared away her first potential boyfriend."
"Lilly might not be thirteen but she isn't a baby either, so stop treating her like one or I'll put a restraining order on the two of you." he joked.
"Oh ha ha ha." I sarcastically said before their was a knock at the door.
"It's probably one of the muggles about the phones or the boiler in their flat not working. Sapphire answer it and let them in." I obeiantly stood up. Oh haven't I said yet? When mum resigned Quiddict she and Dad decided to buy the 3 story block of flats down the road off the muggle government and rent them out. Pretty thoughtful actually. We know from the muggle show Watchdog that some Landlords - specially ones that work for the government - can be really horrid and of course they only have to walk down the road to see their landlord. Not all of them are muggles.
Their is two or three Wizard couples living their, but I think most of that 4-6 are muggle-borns so we just refer the whole block The Muggles. We respect them of course. Any prejudice in my house and my parents give you a twenty minute lecture on why it is so nasty. They're allowed to come around with questions and quires any time of the day - within reason - and both my parents are very understanding if someone begins to struggle with money.
So I'm walking to the door now and they start knocking again. And don't stop.
"Alright! Alright! Keep your hair on! If it's this serious you should of come earlier in the day! I have a little sister trying to sleep you know." I said as I approached the door. I open it slowly slightly scared of the potentially pissed off muggle.
But their wasn't a pissed of muggle at the door.
Their wasn't even a muggle at the door.
It was Draco.