Novel - Subject: Harry Potter - Rating: T - Category: Angst/Romance
Lahela's Song: I hate you, Hermione. I hate how when Lucius told me to lead Potter to the forest, I did it because I was jealous. I hate how when the dementor was sucking out his soul, I actually cried. I hate how I knew I was really crying for you because now you had no one.
Chapter 11 - Lahela's Song
I hate you, Hermione.
A week passed slowly, agonizingly. My head and body felt distant from each other. Sometimes, I thought I was about to be sick, but I never quite knew why, what had set it off. I was like sand in an hourglass. More of me was slowly but steadily disappearing into the bottomless pit.
I was losing my mind.
When I did think - I had to think now and then - I mostly stuck to the me that was distant yet comprehensible. The proud Slytherin. The ruthless leader. And the sniveling coward. I was a walking contradiction.
She told me once, "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.". But what did she know? She didn’t have the chance to love like I loved Hermione. She didn’t feel her heart shatter and cut into her, making her insides bleed.
I never used to think of Lahela as lucky.
Every morning, I took a long walk on the grounds, studying the grass. During my walk, I didn't worry about the cold. I didn't worry about anything. But worry flew to me, sooner than I had expected. Daray's claws dug into my shoulder. My heart stilled.
Lucius wanted another meeting with me. To finish the job, of course. The worst part was, I didn't care. Once the initial shock wore off, I decided to meet with him. If he wanted to kill me, fine. I would take him down with me. And then, my suffering would be over.
I thought I knew what my Father would look like when I saw him, but it wasn't what I expected. His face was calm: not angry, no cold smile. I lowered my wand in confusion. His was not in sight.
"You came, Draco..." Lucius said.
"Obviously," I snapped. His expression didn't even flicker.
"I must say, I'm surprised," Lucius continued, as if I had not spoken. "You're either braver than I thought or very foolish."
"I wonder which," I said. I raised my wand back on him, trying to steel myself for the killing curse.
"Now, let's not be rash, boy," Lucius said. "I've only come to you with a request."
“I’m not doing any favors for you or your Lord of Darkness,” I said, simply.
"But you have it all wrong, Draco," Lucius said, his mouth curling into the smile I had expected. "No, truthfully, the one, who will gain the real favor, is you." He put his hand into his pocket and pulled out an object that resembled a potion bottle: Désir de la Sirène.
"Where did you get that?" I demanded. It was nearly impossible to make correctly. I knew there was no way my Father had created it.
"It's a gift from a colleague," Lucius said, watching me carefully. "For you, Draco... to rid you of the one you despise the most."
My eyes flashed to him, thinking for a moment that he was the foolish one. Then, I realized who he really meant. "Potter," I said.
"Yes," Lucius said. "Use this to bring Potter to me, and I'll-We’ll never bother you again.”
I put out my hand. I didn’t know why he wanted Potter - well, I knew why, but I didn’t know what he was planning on doing exactly. I didn’t care. At that moment, I knew I would do anything to get Potter away from Hermione. Not that the prospect of never dealing with my Father and his filthy master again wasn’t reason enough.
My mind felt completely clear. I had never felt so determined in my entire life. I pretended like everything had gone back to normal. I went to all my classes for the first time in more than a week. I spent a few hours studying in front of the fireplace. And when Potter and Hermione came into the common room, I gave them a simple smile and bid them goodnight.
I hate how when Lucius told me to lead Potter into the forest, I did it because I was jealous.
I listened to the murmur of their voices until they faded away. I rested the tip of my wand on the Désir de la Sirène and closed my eyes to begin the enchantment. I tried to focus on Potter and Hermione. At first, I only saw their faces, but soon, I saw them kissing passionately. By the time I felt the spell had settled, I was crying again. Hermione had turned me into a blithering idiot.
I wiped away the tears by myself; Lahela wouldn't comfort me now.
I twisted the shell at the top of the bottle in my hands. Désir de la Sirène would release a powerful sleeping powder made of mermaid scales. It had enough power to create another world in the afflicted's minds. I wondered morbidly what Potter and Hermione's dream world would be like.
I opened my door slightly, set the object outside of it, and waited. I had to be certain Hermione would stay asleep while I carried Potter away into the night. I watched the scales flutter about in the iced and translucent chamber. Soon, the powder departed from the openings in the form of mist. I began to shiver, perhaps from nervousness, perhaps from the aversion of my spirit to the sins I was committing. Or maybe I just wished that I could be swept away into some version of paradise.
I waited a few more minutes still before leaving the cold aura of my room for the warmth of the fire near the sleeping lovers. I looked at their peaceful faces and felt ill. I considered simply eliminating Potter, myself. I had a bottle of what I believed to be strong poison on my bedside table, after all. I'd kept it in hopes that it might be useful one day.
But I didn’t want to go back to my room. I didn’t want to face the cold spirit, who part of me knew was right. I simply knelt next to the couch and took Hermione’s hand in my own. "I'm sorry, Hermione." I looked away from her in shame and gazed into the fire, instead. "But I can't let him have you... it hurts too much to bear."
I got up quickly, feeling those wretched tears attacking. There was no time for that. There was never time for that.
Suddenly, I bent back down only to press my lips against those of my love, my Hermione. Something made me doubt if I would ever see her again. Even if I returned, I would never see this peaceful, calm expression on her face. Maybe she'd even kill me herself.
As much as I protested, a tear fell as I kissed Hermione. It was when I pulled away to grind my fists into my eyes that I saw something strange: there were four short scars on Hermione’s neck.
I reached out longing to touch her, but then, I remembered my mission. Hermione had been in so many battles; it was probably nothing. She kept her long hair down during the day, so I just hadn't seen them before. Still, I cursed them for tainting the neck of my love.
I encountered no problems in getting Potter out of the castle and into the dark night. I was Head Boy, after all. I could have just lied. I could have said I was taking him to the Hospital Wing. They’d have to believe me. They’d want to believe me.
As I drew near the Forbidden Forest, I got a sick thrill. "Draco..." Someone was singing.
"And I am... calling you. I am always calling you. Oh, won't you... hear my prayer,
whispered softly in your ear." But there was no way it could be. My mind had really forsaken me if I could hear her voice again. Yet the haunting song persisted.
"I am... watching you. I am always watching you. Oh, won't you... hear my prayer, whispered softly in your ear." The singing grew louder as I entered the misty forest. I had only ever heard this voice, this song, once before. And then I realized what a mistake I was making.
"I am always haunting you."
And it was too late.
“Draco,” Lucius whispered, beckoning me closer. “You have done me proud.”
The haunting song was gone; Lahela had abandoned me.
“After the reckless job you did with the mudblood's sister, I wasn't expecting much,” he continued. "But you have more than distaste for Potter, am I correct?"
Mudblood's... sister? "I have no fucking clue what you are talking about,” I said, truthfully. I was shaking, scared and confused… and without my guardian angel.
"The mudblood Granger..." Lucius explained, looking as though it should be obvious. "You released her sister. I'm still baffled by that poor decision, but it matters not, now. We've arrived at the same end."
I stared at him. Hermione's sister... that had been Hermione's sister?
Lucius frowned and said, “We have no time for your foolishness, boy. The dementors are approaching."
I froze. Dementors… No, why did they have to bring dementors? And then, I realized what they had planned for Potter. They weren’t going to kill him. No, no… they had a far worse idea in their dark minds. They were going to suck out his soul.
Voldemort floated out of the darkness in a cloud of black mist. He was smiling, red eyes filled with malice. I had to draw in a deep breath to keep from running or doing something equally foolish. I lost it, however, as I felt a new cold take me over.
Please, no... Lahela...
I was no longer in the woods. I was back in the common room watching Potter and Hermione groping each other like lovesick animals. I hyperventilated as I watched them making love in horror. The tears came with little resistance this time, and no kind spirit came to console me.
But that wasn't my worst memory. That wasn't what I feared when dementors were near. After years of teasing Potter, I was only hiding my own dark weakness. My first - and greatest - crime.
I was back by the pond. The pond enveloped in a small collection of trees. Our place, Lahela’s and mine. And I knew what was to come next.
I had been barely 13 when I became friends with Lahela. Fresh from my second year at Hogwarts, I had felt I knew everything. I wasn’t allowed to been seen with muggles nor did I want to be. But there was something special about Lahela.
I followed her to the pond during a time my father was out of the manor. She was swimming, peacefully. I wanted to curse her for being happy when I - I, who knew everything, was miserable. But I didn't know then that Lahela was anything but happy.
After a few days, Lahela spotted me spying and invited me to swim with her. I balked at her at once. It was against everything I had ever been taught. Maybe that’s why it felt so perfect. The water was so cool during that hot summer, the last before my real training was to begin. It felt wonderful to my skin. Everything about that summer felt that way.
Until my Father came home...
I had shamed him. And my mother had shamed him for letting me get away with it. He forbade me to ever see her again, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me. His threats seemed idle, and I was feeling rebellious.
I ran off one night and met Lahela at the pond. I knew she'd be there, somehow. I didn’t tell her why I hadn’t been around lately, and she didn’t ask. I told her I wanted to be rebellious, and she let me be.
My Father didn’t just kill her. In fact, he didn’t kill her at all. I did. My father placed me under the Imperius Curse and sent me to find Lahela. She smiled at me. She trusted me down to the end. And even longer, perhaps. Her last words were, “It’s not you, is it?”
Now, as I heard the words again and watched Lahela's blood flow onto my hands, I couldn't stop myself from screaming. Then, suddenly, I was torn from my pain, and for a sudden, desperate moment, I had no idea where I was or what was happening.
I saw the red eyes of the man - or creature - that pulled me from my worst memories. He smiled, chilling me to the bone. I wanted to run, but my legs were so weak. Where was I to run anyways? I could never escape my torment.
I became aware of something flailing next to me. It was Potter, now bound magically to a tree. He had already broken the Désir de la Sirène, an incredible task. Nonchalantly, Voldemort took Potter’s wand and examined it for a moment before crushing it beneath his foot.
Potter cried out, as though the loss of his wand had caused physical pain. His green eyes found mine, and the rage in them hurt me bodily, too. “Malfoy!” Potter screamed. “I knew it! And Hermione-she trusted you! She’s probably dead for it!”
"I didn't... I wouldn't," I cried. But Potter's words were haunting me from the inside. She trusted you… And I realized I was the worst person on earth. I was worse even than the dark wizards before me. For they were simply unable to love, while I would do such things to the one I did love.
Killing Potter, the one Hermione loved with all she had left, was at least as bad as putting my wand to her own heart. It would kill her either way.
I hate how when the dementor was sucking out his soul, I actually cried.
Potter fought, but he was nothing without his wand, weak from the dementors pressing ever closer. “Expecto Patronum!” Potter shouted, fervently.
I couldn’t help him. Drained nearly to my end, Voldemort had also bound my magic when he had saved me from the dementor's grip. It wouldn’t matter anyway. I was powerless.
It wouldn’t work. He could do it a thousand times; it would make no difference. No degree of magic could break through Voldemort’s binding.
A silvery ghost of a stag ran at the dementor but faded before it got anywhere near the beast. It was a miracle. It was a miracle, but it hadn’t helped Potter one bit.
The dementor reached with one of its scaly gray hands and grabbed Potter’s shoulder. It leaned forward and lowered its hood. I felt tears flow out of my eyes. It was the most horrific thing I had ever seen.
The tears came in streams as the dementor’s mouth clamped onto Potter’s. Hermione would be… there wasn’t a word for it.
I hate how I knew I was really crying for you, because now, you had no one.
The Dark Lord and his servant were watching with a terrifying glee. With their eyes away from me, I did the only thing I could.
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