Playing with Fire

Chapter 8: Astronomy Tower

Song: New Person, Same Old Mistakes - Tame Impala

Draco left the dungeon and headed straight for his study, not stopping until there was a bottle of firewhiskey in his hands. He didn’t allow himself to think until his body felt warm and his ears were buzzing

Those deep, chestnut eyes haunted his vision. They were broken. Broken because of him, whether he liked it or not.

Why had her back been so bruised? Why was she so thin? He ordered the house elves to feed her and provide whatever she needed - without going beyond what was reasonable of course. Was this reasonable?

No. This is how a mudblood was meant to be treated. That’s what he was raised to believe. It was the Dark Lord’s will, whether he liked it or not. He didn’t have a choice in this.

Why did he care anyway? Because her friends were dead.

There wasn’t anything he could do. She was alone. Like him.

She would be fine, he was simply doing his duties. Her eyes were so broken. That familiar fire he saw in her at Hogwarts barely burned anymore. He could see it.

It didn’t matter, she was a mudblood. Mudblood, mudblood, mudblood, he repeated over and over. She was human. She was a prisoner in his home. She didn’t even have a bed, clean clothes, or any means to bathe.

“Bopsy”, he said, and she appeared before he had even finished calling her.

“Master Malfoy calling Bopsy for something?“, she said, twirling her fingers around each other.

“Give the mudblood a bathtub, clean clothes, a cot, pillows, and a quilt. She won’t be much use to the Dark Lord if she dies down there.“, he told her, trying his best not to show the mercy that drove his words.

Bopsy nodded, “Master Malfoy is needing anything else?”

“Yes”, he said, “you will escort her to me tomorrow at noon. Make sure she wears the new clothes and that she has bathed. Pull her hair back out of her face, and have her drink this before you take her upstairs”, he handed Bopsy a vial of thick red liquid, as dark as blood.

She nodded briefly and then disappeared.

He had to perform the Sanguis Stigma tomorrow. That way, she wouldn’t have to be kept down there like it was a cage. He chuckled to himself. As if there were a more accurate term for it.

He had followed all the directions Yaxley provided in his notebook, which was practically falling apart at the seams from all the wear and tear it had endured.

Sanguis Stigma

Preparations:

The receiver of the Sanguis Stigma should bathe before the spell is performed.

The receiver must wear all black for the spell.

The receiver must drink a vial of the performer’s blood**

**the performer must bloodlet 3 days before, allowing the blood to sit in the vial for no less than 72 hours; add 2 drops of amortentia, 3 ½ drops veritaserum, 1 ¾ drops of calming draught, 1 ⅔ drops of weakness potion

It was possibly the most complicated spell Draco had ever seen. Providing his blood, which she had to drink, and having to add in multiple potions? He couldn’t imagine how long Yaxley had to have been working on this. He had already added the other necessary ingredients to the vial.

Why would it need to be so complicated? Not to mention that the extra parts were quite literally bits of love, truth, calming, and weakness potion.

The thought made him sick. Manipulating Granger was not the same as teasing her and her friends in their school days. This was much more serious than that.

He gulped down more firewhiskey, letting it burn his throat. This was better than thinking about Granger. Or his mother. Just a bit more and his mind would be clear of them.

He reached into the bottom left drawer of his desk, unlocking it with his wand, and pulled out the Malfoy locket. The one his mother had worn her whole life, the one his grandmother wore before her, and so on.

It was gold in an oval shape with a cursive M carved into it for Malfoy.

Before his mother passed, there bore a photo of his father on the right, and Draco on the left. The locket had been in the Malfoy family for centuries, and it was enchanted to show who the owner of the locket loved most in the world.

Now that his mother was gone, there was nothing in it. A tear fell from his eye and landed on the locket. He quickly wiped it off, put it back in its velvet green pouch, and locked it back inside the drawer.

Draco’s mother used to tell him, “One day you’ll fall in love, and the lucky girl will have this as her own. She squeezed him tightly and placed a kiss on his cheek. “Just make sure you give it to someone who deserves you, my dear”, she told him with a smile and rosy cheeks.

If only she could see him now. Just as broken as Granger, though he may not look that way. He never wanted to give the locket to anyone. Never wanted to see it on anyone else. He’d never even marry anyone if it was up to him. If it was truly up to him, he’d head straight to Hogwarts and launch himself off the astronomy tower without hesitation.

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