Numb Without You (Draco Malfoy)


Post-war life has not been easy for Rory Dolohov. It is a heavy burden to bare being the daughter of one of the most feared Death Eaters there ever was. Just when she thought she had finally gotten her life back on track, a platinum blond from her past came tumbling back into it.

Romance / Other
Age Rating:


They say once you've been marked, you're marked for life. I was reminded of that fact every single day. Though the war was long over, my forearm never stopped burning. It was a white-hot constant connection to my past life. One that I never truly felt a part of, but one could never truly leave behind.

You see, when you're a Death Eater, people treat you different. Back then, they used to cower in fear and do whatever we wished. But that was then, and this is now. Now, I couldn't go down the street without people turning their backs on me. I was a social pariah. We all were. It's not my fault. None of it was. I didn't ask for this life. It was forced upon me, just like so many of my fellow children of Death Eaters.

Sure, in the past we reaped the benefits while others suffered. But who wouldn't have?

I'll never forget the day I was released from Azkaban. I had never been more thankful to see a mudblood in my entire life. Hermione Granger was my saving grace. She worked so hard to make sure that children of Death Eater's got a reduced sentence and community service. She understood that we were just raised this way. It wasn't who we really were. Because of her I learned that I had a choice. We all did.

I had just finished with my year of community service as a healer at St. Mungo's. It was excruciating to say the least, but not for the reasons you would expect. I found that the work was very fulfilling, when people would let me help them, but often times I didn't get the opportunity. So many patients turned me away or requested other healers. Ones that didn't have the mark. I wasn't trusted there. I wasn't really trusted anywhere.

I kept my head down as I walked past the crowds outside of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and went into the building next door where my flat was located. Once I was in the vicinity of my own home I finally felt like I could breathe again. I took off my scarf and hung it up on the hook. I could hear laughter coming from the other room, so I followed the noise to find my best friend and my boyfriend sitting on the couch watching TV.

"I'll tell you what. Muggles did get one thing right, and it's television." Aidan said. His eyes were transfixed on the screen as he watched one of the comedian panel shows that he was completely obsessed with.

"You've got that right." Camille snorted with laughter as one of the comedians said something funny.

I cleared my throat so the two of them would be alerted to my presence. They both took their eyes off the screen for only the briefest of seconds before going back to what they were doing.

"Hey, babe." Aidan said as he shoved crisps into his mouth, "How was work?"

"Would it kill you to clean up in here once in a while?" I scowled as I started to pick up trash that littered the floor. "It's a mess."

"It didn't seem to bother you before. What's the issue?" Aidan turned off the TV to give me his full attention. Camille scowled, upset that she missed the ending of a good joke, but turned around on the couch to face me as well. "Can't you just use magic?" He grinned impishly.

"I don't get my wand back until tomorrow. I just finished my community service, you know that. Hermione Granger is stopping by soon and I don't want her to think I live in a dump. That's why I'm cleaning up." I hissed at Aidan. I tossed some of his dirty laundry at him and he caught it before it hit him in the face

"You should have just gone to Knockturn Alley like we did and gotten a wand on the black market, Rory." Aidan smirked as he waved a wand at my face. Camille giggled and grabbed her own wand to show it off as well. We weren't allowed to practice magic during our probation period, but many of us had found ways around that. I refused. I wanted to at least try to do things the right way for once in my life. I never wanted to go back to Azkaban.

"I'm at least trying to be good, unlike you two." I scowled. They could both be so frustrating sometimes.

"What's the fun in that?" Aidan smirked as he got off the couch. He walked over to me and gave me a kiss hello. Despite how much he could annoy me, his touch still made me go weak in the knees. I gave in and kissed him back.

"Isn't that mudblood still with Ron Weasley?" Camille asked, "I'm sure whatever they can afford is worse than this place." She smirked and admired the flat that I had found us. Admittedly, it was pretty nice for the price, and it had two bedrooms, which was a rare find in Diagon Alley.

"That mudblood is the reason you're not locked up in Azkaban right now, Camille." I glared at the girl. "I would show Hermione some more respect. You can start by not calling her that anymore."

Camille rolled her eyes, "I really miss when you weren't such a prude."

"Yeah, well I wish you would grow up." I snapped back at her.

"Ladies, let's all take a deep breath and calm down." Aidan smirked as he wrapped his arms around me in an attempt to calm me down. It only partially worked. I leaned on his chest and closed my eyes. He was always trying to diffuse the tension between us, especially lately.

We had all been best friends since we were children, but Camille had not really grown out of our old ways. Hell, she hadn't even started her community service yet. Aidan hadn't either. I was the only one keeping us afloat with what little money I earned at my job the past year. The ministry had frozen all of our assets when our parents had all been taken to Azkaban pretty much leaving us all destitute.

There was a knock at the door that made me jump anxiously. I pushed Aidan away from me and fixed my hair in the mirror before opening the door. "Hermione!" I smiled widely at the girl, "Come in, please." I tried as hard as I could to appear warm and friendly. Those were not natural emotions for me, but Hermione seemed to buy it.

"Congratulations on finishing your community service, Rory!" Hermione said excitedly as she pulled me in for a hug. "You're the very first to finish our program believe it or not."

I glanced over at Aidan and Camille who were watching us with mischievous grins on their faces. They were silently mocking Hermione, I could tell. "Trust me, I believe it." I glowered at them and they looked away.

Hermione's demeanor shifted a little bit once she had settled in. She didn't look as excited as she had when I first greeted her. She spoke quietly, "I do have some good news and some bad news to tell you. Can we talk privately?"

My heart began to race. What could it be now? I've worked so hard, but apparently I still couldn't be trusted by the Ministry. "Uh.... sure." I said, "Let's go to my room." I led her past Aidan and Camille, the latter of which was still snickering at Hermione. The sound of her laugh made my blood boil. Could she not be respectful for one day? I closed the door to my room. "Can you use a charm or something?" I motioned towards the door. I felt helpless without magic. I hated having to ask other witches or wizards to perform simple spells that I could easily do in my sleep.

"Oh, right. Uh, sure." Hermione said. She pulled out her wand, "Muffliato." She muttered. I could hear Camille and Aidan groan from the other side of the door. Hermione's face flushed having not realized that they would be listening at the door. She was too trustworthy for her own good. It must have been a Gryffindor trait, because it certainly was not a Slytherin one.

"So, what's this all about?" I asked. I was trying to remain aloof, though my insides felt like they were on fire. I nervously traced the dark mark on my arm over my shirt sleeve. It was burning even hotter today than normal.

"Like I said before. I have good news and bad news." Hermione twitched nervously. She sat down on my bed and I sat down next to her. "The good news is... I have your wand to give back to you!" She pulled out a delicate looking box and extended her arm out to me.

I felt like I could cry. I took the box out of her hands and opened it. It was the very same wand I had gotten when I was eleven years old. Ollivander himself had given it to me, and I felt just as excited today to be holding my wand in my hand as I did back then. We were a perfect match. 10 1/2 inch Elm with a Dragon Heartstring Core, reasonably pliable. Just as I remembered it.

"Thank you, Hermione." I said as tears did well up in my eyes. I blinked them away before I looked back at her. She was brimming with pride as she looked at me. I was her little pet project all year, and she had succeeded in "rehabilitating" me. I would even call us friends now. If I had told my fifteen year old self that I would one day be friends with Hermione Granger, I would have probably gone out and practiced the Cruciatus curse on a first year.

Hermione's face became serious again. "Now... while I see your progress in this program as a success, the rest of the ministry isn't so sure." I felt completely deflated as Hermione said those words. I had never worked this hard for anything in my life. This was the only thing I had ever worked for, really. My freedom. She continued to speak, "They want you to do some additional work for the Ministry. Think of it as a part two to your community service."

"What more do they want from me?" I groaned. "I've given so much to them already. I've proven I'm not a danger." I looked at her helplessly.

"I know that." Hermione said softly in agreement, "They just want to be sure."

"What do they need me to do?" I sighed in defeat. If this is what it took to stay out of prison, I guess I could handle it.

"It's not that difficult of a task." Hermione assured me, "You're going to become someone's sponsor. You're basically going to be doing my job, except for someone else. They're even going to pay you!"

I sighed and relaxed a little. I was still gripping my wand tightly in my hand. I was afraid that if I let it go it would be taken away from me again. "That doesn't seem so bad."

Hermione still looked nervous. She wouldn't make eye contact with me any more, "I...uh... they already picked who you will be sponsoring."

"Who is it?" I asked. "Camille? That's going to be a nightmare, but I think I can handle it. Aidan would be too much of a conflict of interest, I'm sure." I laughed, but Hermione still wouldn't look at me. It made me more nervous than I should have been, "Well... who is it?"

"I promise you it won't be that bad." She assured me, "The job is really easy. It's just a couple of times a week you have to spend with your person. You can ask me for help or advice any time you need it."

"Hermione-" I tried to cut her off, but she just kept talking faster.

"It's simple really. You can just go do all the stuff we did together. Take them to experience muggle culture for the first time, help them learn how to do simple tasks without the help of house elves or magic. I see your friends took to it quite well, so it should go over quite nicely." She looked towards the closed door where we knew Camille and Aidan were still standing and then back at me. "It's quite a rewarding job, honestly. I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's-"

"Hermione!" I shouted. I was exasperated. She was beginning to put me on edge, "Who is it? Zabini? Theo?" I hadn't seen any of them in years. Not since we were teenagers. We were all in our early 20's now. I groaned, "Don't tell me it's Pansy Parkinson that bloody cow. I told her if I ever saw her again I would break her pug nose."

Hermione shook her head, "No. It's none of them." The anticipation was killing me. There were only so many people it could be and the list was getting smaller the more people I named. It got closer and closer to her saying those two words I didn't want to hear. The name I had been dreading. The more time that elapsed made me certain that was exactly the name she was going to say.

"Who is it then?" I asked her one last time. My throat was tightening up and I was trying to regulate my breathing. I squeezed my eyes shut and then opened them again to stare into Hermione's brown ones.

Hermione let out a deep sigh, "It's Draco Malfoy."
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