Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations
created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including
but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast
Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright
or trademark infringement is intended. This story is rated PG-13
for violence and bad language.
A/N: This fic takes place during Harry's fifth year and war
is raging in the wizarding world.
Draco stared at the cretin sleeping by the entrance of the
cave. A single ray of sunlight crept in to light up its glistening
The dog didn't move. Small puffs of air formed underneath its
It was cold. The air smelled like winter. Draco shivered.
His right side had fallen asleep again. He winced as he felt
sharp stabs of pain work their way up his arm.
I'm still alive.
He struggled to rearrange himself, forcing the blood to circulate
to his limbs, too numb to feel the ropes digging into his wrists
It was Friday. He was missing his Potions class.
Did they even notice?
A fly landed on the rocky floor, eye level to Draco. He stared
at it. It stared back. Its large, red eyes had many facets. Dozens
of little Dracos in hexagonal shaped images swam together.
Seeming to tire of the boy, it lifted up its two front legs
to rub its head. Flies were meticulously clean. Much cleaner than
humans. They've even been known to wash themselves after being
touched by humans. At least, Draco had been told as much by an
arrogant Ravenclaw in his Herbology class. Draco looked down at
his own dirty robes. Robes that covered the clothes he'd been
wearing for seven days.
The fly continued to bathe.
Suddenly, he wanted to smash it. He wanted to see its legs
splayed underneath its flattened body. Transparent wings bent
and broken. Globules of blood and tissue sticking to his fist
He clenched his empty stomach and slowly raised his shoulders
from the ground. The fly froze momentarily. Draco was still. The
fly continued cleaning itself, unconcerned. A small grin pulled
at the corner of Draco's mouth. He slowly positioned himself over
the fly. All at once, he let himself fall. The fly easily escaped
without injury just as Draco hit the cold, smooth surface. Not
having access to his arms which were tightly bound behind him,
Draco's cheek hit the stone floor making a soft slapping noise.
The boy lay still on the ground, wincing in pain, shutting his
eyes tightly, trying to keep the tears in.
The fly landed softly on the boy's forehead and resumed washing.
Seven days earlier...
It was a cool, late autumn evening. Draco had managed to slip
away from the dorms without being seen. Of course, it wasn't too
difficult to give Crabbe and Goyle the slip. They were too involved
in shoving some Mudblood's head in the toilet. Normally, Draco
would have liked to stay and watch, but there were much more important
matters to contend with.
He quietly crept to the side exit of the castle. The sun was
setting and the night sky glowed in a pink and purple haze. He
walked along the edge of the Forbidden Forest, listening. Finally,
he heard their voices. He knew they would be there. He had accidentally
overheard them talking in the Great Hall. Of course, the eavesdropping
amulet dropped into Weasley's bag helped quite a bit, too. Draco's
heart began to beat faster. What could they be talking about?
Despite Draco's constant questioning, his father hadn't told
him how Potter had once again escaped from the Dark Lord last
year. But Draco knew enough to know that what the Dark Lord wanted
more than anything was to see Harry Potter dead. Draco wanted
more than anything to help his father to this end.
Draco stealthily followed Harry, Ron and Hermione down towards
the greenhouses, close to the edge of the Forbidden Forest. They
were speaking, as they always did, in hushed voices. They were
obviously discussing something important.
Draco wrapped his cloak around him tightly as he huddled behind
a shrubbery in Professor Sprout's garden. Even though the clear
night air was silent, he could barely make out their voices. He
heard only snippets here and there.
"...Dumbledore won't let..."
"...but Sirius and Mrs. Figg.."
"...they'll be there..."
A breeze swept through the nearby trees preventing any more
words from reaching Draco. Nonetheless, he could hardly contain
his excitement. He had distinctly heard the word 'Sirius'. They
must be talking about Sirius Black, he thought, though he couldn't
imagine why they would be talking about someone who was supposedly
a faithful supporter of the Dark Lord. This 'Mrs. Figg' character
sounded quite important, as well. Very slowly and as quietly as
possible, he stepped forward a few feet to hear more.
"Do you think it's a trap?" came the unmistakable
voice of Ron Weasley.
"We have to trust them, right? I mean, they know what
they're doing," came the voice of Harry Potter in response.
"Oh yes," Draco recognized the next voice as the
Mudblood. "They've been through this before. If it's a trap...
well, I'm sure they'll be prepared for that possibility..."
A trap? What trap? Draco wondered. He was now leaning so far
forward that he had to catch himself from falling into the bush
in front of him. He grabbed onto one of the branches to right
himself. He sat on the ground motionless, fearing that the threesome
had been alerted to his presence, but they didn't acknowledge
He closed his eyes and took a deep but silent breath. That
was close. He couldn't let himself get caught. He imagined the
look on his father's face if he ... But Draco couldn't let himself
even think of that possibility. If he had to, he would stay there
He turned his attention back to the Gryffindors. The wind had
kicked up and the rustling through the trees was preventing him
from hearing their voices. He moved, ever so slowly to get a little
closer but found that his foot was caught under a tree root. He
tried to pull it free, but it wouldn't budge. He reached down
to feel his leg and found the vines of a plant were wrapped around
his ankle. The horror of his predicament sank in immediately.
He had wandered into a batch of Devil's Snare.
He instantly stopped struggling, desperately trying to recall
what he knew about Devil's Snare. His mother had planted some
around the edge of the Malfoy family tomb, but he had never been
so stupid to get near it, so he'd never had to learn how to break
free from it. Perhaps if he didn't struggle, it would stop climbing
up his leg. He could still reach his wand in his pocket, but what
good was that? Even if he could think of how to repel the Snare,
any spell would surely be seen by Potter and his friends. He would
just have to wait it out.
Unfortunately, no matter how still he was, the Snare's tendrils
continued to wind their way up his leg, to his chest and arms.
Draco decided that he'd rather deal with the Devil's Snare than
get caught by Potter's bunch.
He sat quietly, being careful not to move, but immobility was
rapidly becoming more and more difficult. The Snare had now completely
wrapped itself around his body and was inching up around his neck
and head. He couldn't get to his wand now if he tried.
Suddenly, a vine tightened around his neck. Silence was no
Panic surged through him as he gagged and thrashed in the tangle
of vines that had consumed him. He couldn't breathe. The plant
was incredibly strong; he couldn't break free. The more he fought,
the tighter it gripped. Suddenly, he felt a warmth coming from
somewhere and the dozens of vines wrapped around his body fell
away as one. He lay on the ground panting, afraid to see what
had saved him.
He heard Ron first. "Unbelievable!"
Draco looked up to see three very shocked and concerned faces
looking down at him. There was a small blue flame at his feet
and Harry, Ron and Hermione were pointing their wands at him.
There was no way Draco would be able to reach his wand in time.
He stayed very still not daring to breathe, looking into those
eyes. Those bright green eyes. The eyes of the Hero.
If he was going to get out of this, he'd better do some fast
talking. He tried to sound casually annoyed. "Damn that Professor
Sprout! You'd think she'd warn me that she had Devil's Snare in
her garden." He slowly leaned up and started to brush the
dirt and leaves off of his lap.
"What the hell are you doing in her garden, Malfoy?"
Harry continued to point his wand at Draco's chest with a steady
hand and an unwavering gaze.
Draco adopted an indignant air. "Not that it's any of
your business, Weasley, but I'm doing some extra credit work.
She gave me permission to work with the Belladonna plants tonight.
I should be asking what you're doing out here sneaking around
in the dark."
"As if you didn't know. I bet you heard every word, didn't
you?" said Harry steadily, not taking his eyes off Draco.
"Really," said Draco, as he slowly got to his feet.
"You do think the world revolves around you, don't you, Potter?"
Harry, Ron and Hermione continued to stare at him, wands pointed.
"Honestly, do you know how completely paranoid the three
of you look? Maybe you all need a little vacation. I hear Mungo's
is very nice this time of year."
He casually turned his back to them and started walking back
towards the castle. Out of the Gryffindors' line of sight, his
hand crept to his pocket preparing to grab his wand... but it
was too late. He felt the curses hit him in the back as he fell
face down into the cold, wet grass and everything went black.
When he opened his eyes, the world around him was still black.
He heard familiar voices. He instinctively reached for his wand
but found that he couldn't move. He was tied to what felt like
a tree, most likely in the Forbidden Forest. Harry, Ron and Hermione
were standing around him. He couldn't see them but he could hear
their low voices and feel the warmth from their bodies. They were
debating what to do.
"We have to think carefully about this."
"We have to go to Dumbledore, Harry."
"No, let's just tie him up and leave him here. Some beast
is bound to come by and dispose of him for us."
"I don't know, Hermione. I don't think we should go to
"He shouldn't get involved in this. He's having enough
trouble with Fudge and the Ministry. Lucius Malfoy has Fudge wrapped
around his little finger. If Malfoy thought that Dumbledore had
something to do with his son getting hurt... it could really complicate
matters with him and Fudge."
"Lucius Malfoy doesn't have to find out. Dumbledore will
figure out a way..."
"Dumbledore doesn't have all the answers to everything.
We can't always rely on him. He's got too many other things to
deal with. How happy do you think he would be if we dropped another
little problem into his lap. No. We're not going to do it. This
is our problem. We can handle it. It's only Draco! We've handled
"Oy, I know! We can take him to Aragog!"
"I think he's awake."
Suddenly, Draco felt the presence of someone very close to
his face; warm breath hit his cheek.
"What d'you think, Draco? Would you like to meet the giant
spiders? I'm sure they'd love to have you for dinner. You'd probably
feed them for weeks. I think they have to keep you alive while
they nibble, you know, so you'll be fresh..."
"Ron! That's disgusting!"
Draco spat a furious response. "You better untie me right
now or you're really going to regret it."
Ron only seemed to get angrier. "You're going to regret
snooping around, you little -"
"Ron, this isn't helping."
"I'm sick of him, Hermione!" he shouted. "...
Always threatening you. This is the perfect opportunity to arrange
for a little accident."
Draco couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Let me go,
Harry, who'd been thinking quietly, suddenly pounded his fist
on the ground.
"Damn it, Draco! Why do you have to be so nosy!"
"Isn't it obvious?" said Ron. "He's spying for
his dear old Death Eater father! I bet he couldn't wait to get
back to him and tell him what he found out. Isn't that right,
Draco? You're a young Death Eater in training?"
"You're delusional!" Draco seethed. "This is
kidnapping. I believe you get a healthy sentence in Azkaban for
"Do you think anyone was with him?" Hermione asked
"I think they would have shown themselves by now,"
"I'm telling you guys, it was no accident he overheard
us. He's probably been spying on us for a long time!" Ron
reached over and grabbed Draco by the front of his robes and shoved
his wand in his face. "How long have you been spying on us?"
"I don't know what you're talking about! You think I don't
have anything better to do than waste my time following you around.
Really, Weasley, you and Potter do think a lot of yourselves,
"Don't play dumb, Junior Death Eater, unless you want
to be hung by your ankles from that tree over there."
Draco figured he better stick to his story. "I didn't
hear any of your stupid conversation, now let me go!"
"Don't give me that crap, you lying bastard!"
"Look, Ron, I'm sure you're right, but he's not just going
to tell us what he knows. We have to figure out another way."
"I can think of a few good ways to make him talk..."
"Maybe we can get a hold of some Veritaserum."
"Oh yeah, good idea, Hermione. Let's just go to the apothecary
on our next trip to Hogsmeade and pick up a vial."
"Maybe he didn't hear anything and then we can just let
"Or better yet, we could just ask Professor Snape. I'm
sure he has some extra Veritaserum lying around he doesn't need.
I'm sure he would love to give it to us, no questions asked."
"I'm trying to think of a solution to this problem, Ron!
I don't see you coming up with any better ideas."
Harry finally interrupted. "Enough, you two! This isn't
helping. Veritaserum's a good idea, Hermione, but Ron's right;
it would be impossible to get. Besides that, I'm sure that he
overheard our conversation about Sirius. Who knows how long he's
been spying on us. I think we just have to assume that he knows
too much. The best bet is a memory charm."
"Oh, those are way too complex, Harry. There's no way
we can learn that charm in a short amount of time."
"It's not like we could test it either," said Ron.
"I mean, how would we know if it had worked or not? He could
just lie like he always does."
"Yeah, you're right. We'll have to ask someone for help.
Someone we can trust."
Hermione let out a sigh of relief. "Yes, absolutely. We
need help from-"
"My dad knows how do to memory charms!"
"No..." said Hermione.
"No way, Ron. We're not getting your dad involved in this."
"He could get into big trouble with the Ministry. He would
lose his job, at best. He'd probably get sent to Azkaban."
Ron added, "Great, we can all be there together."
Hermione scoffed. "Oh, that's optimistic!"
"We'll get Sirius," said Harry. "He'll know
what to do. And it's not like he can get into any more trouble
than he's already in."
That was how Draco had come to be trapped in a dark, damp cave
with the wretched, foul-smelling cretin named Sirius Black.
Draco had quickly ascertained that Sirius Black was not a loyal
supporter of the Dark Lord and he had never been a Death Eater.
This did not ease his distress. He was still a murderer. He looked
completely insane. His hair was short and stuck out at odd angles.
It looked like someone had tried to cut it with a scythe. It was
reminiscent of Potter's messy mop top, but Potter didn't have
the excuse that he was on the run from the law. Black's eyes were
dark and sunken into his face. He was skinny and sallow, like
he had been living under a bridge for fifteen years. One would
have thought his thin body would blow away with a small gust of
wind. But Draco knew better. Black's grip was strong and he easily
carried Draco up the meandering mountain trail to the cave. He
wielded a long knife; it was more like a sword, really. And he
carried it deftly.
He lay in the cave, on the cold, hard floor, night after night.
He was used to his arms going numb by now. He still had to wriggle
desperately to keep the pain away.
The first day was the worst.
The cretin had sat and stared at him for what seemed like hours.
He was obviously mad. Draco wanted to scream at him, but he couldn't
speak. He wanted to hit him, but his hands were bound. Most of
all, he wanted to escape. He wanted to go home. Home to his mother,
who would make everything all right. Home to his father, who would
make sure that these bastards paid for daring to hurt his son.
The cretin stood up and walked towards him.
Draco braced himself. What was he going to do?
The mangy man stood over him and pulled on the cloth stuffed
in Draco's mouth. Draco grinded his aching jaws together. The
cretin's eyes bored into him.
"How old are you?"
Draco didn't answer.
Draco fumed. "I'm fifteen! And you'd better let me go
The man continued to stare at him. "Fifteen," he
said thoughtfully. "Fifteen years old."
"Did you hear me?" Draco spat. "Untie me! Now!"
Black didn't seem to be listening to him. "Do you have
a girlfriend back at school?"
Draco felt a stab of pain in his heart as he thought of Pansy.
She was probably worried sick about him.
"When my dad finds you, he's not going to kill you. But
you'll wish he would. You'll be begging for death when my dad
gets done with you."
"I'd never beg for anything from your father. You can
count on that."
"He's a powerful wizard! He's going to crucify you when
he finds you. And he will find you!"
"Proud of your dad, are you?"
Draco didn't respond. He wouldn't lower himself to conversing
with him, a cretin, about his father.
"So I hear your dad's pretty tight with Voldemort?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"He's Voldemort's right hand man. Have you ever seen Voldemort,
Draco couldn't believe it. Was this thing, this cretin, actually
trying to get information out of him? Ha! thought Draco. There
were some benefits to not knowing anything. Perhaps he should
make something up.
"I'm not trying to get information from you, Draco. I
know very well that you know nothing. You think you know a lot.
But you don't.
"I know what's going to happen to you when they rescue
me! You'll be lucky if the Ministry finds you first. If my father
finds you, they'll just be finding pieces of you."
"Do you think by becoming a Death Eater, you'll be somebody
"I never said I wanted to be a Death Eater!"
"But you do, don't you? Just like your father."
Draco didn't answer.
Sirius continued, "You screwed up your first assignment
pretty badly, didn't you?"
"It was not an assignment! I was just minding my own business
when that nut case, Potter, and his friends grabbed me!"
"Do you know what Voldemort would do to you if you screwed
up an assignment?"
Draco was silent.
"Or what he'd do to your little girlfriend?"
Draco couldn't stay quiet any longer. "What the hell do
you know? You're not a supporter of the Dark Lord!"
"I know all about the Death Eaters, Draco. I spent twelve
years living next to them listening to them relive their worst
nightmares. Voldemort doesn't appreciate it when his followers
You don't know what you're talking about.
"You want to be just like them, don't you? You have no
idea what you're getting into. You're just a stupid, naive little
kid, thinking you can run with the big boys.
Well, you're just a dirty cretin and I'm tired of listening
to you. "I have to go to the loo," Draco demanded.
"So go then," said Sirius.
Draco looked at him indignantly. "I can't even stand up.
How do you expect me to do it myself?"
"You're an enterprising young man. You figure it out."
"You have to let me out sometime! I have to go! Do you
expect me to go in my pants?"
Sirius shrugged. "I don't care."
Draco couldn't believe his ears. He wasn't even going to let
him out to relieve himself. This was far worse than he could have
ever imagined. He glared at the cretin, who, ignoring him, turned
into a dog and lay down by the entrance to the cave.
By nightfall, Draco really did have to go, but he refused to
soil himself. He would not give this cretin the satisfaction of
seeing him so humiliated. It was getting very painful, however.
The hours passed. The moon was close to full. It was a bright
night but perhaps it was dark enough that Draco could convince
the cretin to let him outside. The pain in his bladder was making
it increasingly difficult to think clearly. But he had to try
a different approach. One that would appeal to the cretin.
Draco looked over at the sleeping dog by the door and said
as meekly as possible, "Mr. Black?"
The great dog stirred slightly and almost imperceptibly opened
his eyes to stare at Draco.
"Please," Draco started, "I really have to go.
It's dark outside now. No one will see me. You can keep me tied
up." Draco stopped short of offering to don the gag. "I
won't try to run away. I promise. I know you'd catch me."
The dog gave a great grunt, shifted his paws underneath his
head and lazily closed his large black eyes.
He was going back to sleep.
Draco hadn't prepared himself for this response. He found he
couldn't stop the tears which now streamed down his face as he
pleaded desperately with the dog. "Please... please, let
me go outside. It hurts. It really hurts."
The dog didn't move. It was so still, for a wild, joyous moment,
Draco thought it might be dead. But that was too much to hope
"Please, Mr. Black? I promise I won't run. I'll be really
quick. Don't make me go in here."
No response from the dog.
Draco cried harder than ever now. He wasn't going to be let
out. He'd have to go in his pants like a helpless infant. Desperation
"If you make me go in here, it'll stink so bad,"
he seethed. "Do you want to spend your time cooped up in
a pee-stinking cave?"
This got the dog's attention. He opened his eyes and lifted
his head. Draco imagined that the dog was smiling, if a dog could
smile. Suddenly, he was no longer a dog, but a man. The cretin.
Still lying on the ground, Sirius spoke with an air of indifference.
"I can get some fresh air anytime I want to."
"But you have to stay here most of the time to watch me,"
Draco reasoned. "This place is bad enough. I can tell you
don't like it either. Do you really want it to smell like a toilet
Sirius ran his hands through his hair scratching his head.
"What I would like is some sleep."
Draco wasn't sure if this was good or bad but he had to keep
trying. "Please? I'll be quick. And then I won't make a sound
for the rest of the night."
Sirius sighed as he stood up and walked towards Draco. He was
holding a small black cloth in his hand.
Draco recognized the gag at once. "No, not the -"
But his voice died as the dry salty cloth was shoved into his
"C'mon then," said Sirius gruffly. He grabbed Draco's
arm and roughly pulled him to his feet. Draco had barely managed
to find his feet beneath him when he felt something cold against
It was the dagger.
"Don't try anything," Sirius warned. "You're
right, I could easily outrun you. And there isn't anyone for miles
so don't bother trying to yell."
Wide-eyed with fear, Draco nodded to show he understood.
Finally, Sirius dragged Draco outside of the cave for the first
time. The cool, clear air felt like a refreshing bath in a spring.
Sirius took him behind a bush and helped him with his clothes.
But as the pain in Draco's bladder was relieved, the pain of
the humiliation took it's place.
It could be worse, Draco kept thinking to himself. It could
be worse. He tried to stay focused on the positive but a dull
and constant anger gnawed at him. He had never felt this much
hatred. It seemed to be consuming him.
Subsequent nights were a little easier to take. The cretin
let Draco go outside every night just long enough to relieve himself.
There were times when it was difficult to wait, but as long as
he knew night would come eventually, he could wait it out. The
fact that Draco rarely got food or water also helped out the wait
The nights were cold but it wasn't completely black inside
the cave. The full moon somehow managed to bounce some light in.
One night, the cretin left and didn't return for many hours.
He made sure the ropes were extra tight before he left, making
painful, red marks in Draco's skin. As much as Draco tried, it
was impossible to escape. He began to long for the moment when
the cretin returned and the ropes were loosened. Then he worried
that the cretin would never come back at all. He imagined that
he was left to die a cold and lonely death.
But the cretin came back.
Draco longed for news of the outside world. Were they still
looking for him? Of course they are! he reassured himself. He
hoped the cretin would tell him something. But instead, he taunted
him and Draco went back to wishing he would go away.
"You owe a lot to Harry. If it wasn't for him, you wouldn't
be alive right now."
Draco's stomach gave another painful jolt. The last bit of
food he'd had was two days ago. The cretin had made him beg for
a leg of a rat. It was disgusting. But he actually made him beg
"You could say that you're in his debt." Sirius sniggered.
"What do you think of that, Draco?"
Draco focused on a crack in the ceiling. There was one splinter
on one side and two tiny splinters on the other. He tried to imagine
what animal it resembled. This was a childhood game played to
pass the time, but the cretin's voice bored into his thoughts.
"See, Draco, you're learning. You're learning what comes
with being a Death Eater. I'm teaching you better than your dear
father could. You have to learn to be tough. The Dark Lord doesn't
like weaklings. When you bow down to Voldemort, be expected to
give up everything."
"I didn't do anything. I wasn't spying for my father."
Sirius gave him a tragic look. "Oh? You mean to say that
Draco didn't dare answer this question.
"My dear Draco. Don't you know? Innocence means nothing."
Sirius's voice seethed with bitterness.
Draco closed his eyes, trying desperately to stop the flow
of tears. His feelings of hopelessness seemed to be drowning him.
"Don't cry now. A good Death Eater never cries. The others
will think you're pathetic and weak and they'll take advantage
of you. These people will be your only friends. Sounds like fun,
eh?" Sirius shook his head. "You have no idea, Draco."
Hope came back to Draco two days later when the cretin made
"Harry's coming this afternoon. I'm really looking forward
to the show you're going to put on. Harry's got a good heart but
I can assure you he'll see through you. Don't bother trying to
take advantage of his sympathies."
With news that Harry was coming, Draco found renewed strength.
Yes, Potter was a bleeding heart. He would never let Draco die.
Once Harry got here, things would be better. He would tell him
that Sirius Black was nutters, that he'd lost it. He was going
to kill Draco. Harry couldn't let him die, could he? No, he wouldn't.
He doesn't have it in him. Draco would just have to swallow his
pride and try to get his sympathy. He would have to look pathetic.
Well, that won't be too difficult, Draco thought bitterly. He
tried not to think about what he probably looked like at this
stage but he knew it had to be dreadful. He spent the morning
longing for the moment when Harry walked through the entrance
to the cave. He never would have imagined that he'd be so happy
to see Harry Potter. He'd probably have food, too. His stomach
lurched at the thought. Would they give him some of their food?
He couldn't bear the thought of them, the cretin and the Hero,
eating some heavenly dish while he, Draco, got nothing, not even
a drop of water.
As the sun rose and the shadows in the cave disappeared, Draco
heard someone walking outside. Harry Potter stepped into the cave
and immediately a look of revulsion come over him as he covered
his mouth and nose with his hands.
"Sirius, it's a bit ripe in here, don't you think?"
"Sorry, the maids don't come till Tuesday." The large
black dog had transformed into a man, the cretin. "What did
you bring? Ham?" he said grabbing Harry's bag from his back.
Draco stared at Harry, willing him to look back, willing him
to remove the gag, willing him to give him some ham.
Harry wouldn't face him, though. He looked a little green.
"It'd help if you got rid of these bones all over the floor."
"Draco likes to nibble on them. He asked me to keep them
out in case he wants a midnight snack." Sirius said in a
mouthful of food.
Harry looked at Draco but quickly looked away when he saw the
pleading look on his face. "I'm glad you can find the humor
in all this, Sirius."
"Speaking of Draco," Sirius gave him a look, "I
think he has something he's dying to tell you."
Harry sighed. "What?"
"He's going to try to appeal to your good nature. Try
to convince you that he won't say anything about what he knows.
Ask you to find some room in your heart to release him. Isn't
that right, Draco?"
Draco ignored Sirius and concentrated on Harry. His only hope
remained with Harry. He didn't care if Sirius knew it.
"Well, it won't do any good." Harry said and with
much effort, he looked in Draco's eyes. "He got himself into
Draco felt his heart drop. But he wouldn't give up hope. He
Finally, Harry walked over to him and removed the gag from
his mouth. Draco wasted no time. He summoned up all the energy
he had in him to commence his pleadings. "Harry - don't leave
me here with him. He's completely insane. All those years in Azkaban
have taken away his sense of reality. He's going to kill me. Please
don't leave me here to die."
"Sirius is not going to kill you," Harry said firmly.
"Probably not," said Sirius thoughtfully.
"But, he is. You don't know. You haven't been here. You
haven't seen the fits he gets. He's completely out of control."
Sirius was laughing softly now. "Oh, you can do better
than that, Draco."
"Harry, I'm starving. He hasn't given me food or water
for a week!"
"What a drama queen," Sirius spouted. "He got
some water yesterday. Don't let him wind you up, Harry."
Harry looked at Sirius incredulously. "You think he's
Sirius looked straight at Draco and nodded.
"You gave him water yesterday, Sirius?"
"How often do you give him food and water?" Harry
"He's gotten water every day, pretty much."
"Hmm... give or take. He doesn't eat the food I provide
him. He shouldn't be such a picky eater."
"That rat was rancid!" Draco cried. "There were
maggots in it!"
"Sirius," Harry continued, "What about the chicken
I sent? Did you give any of it to him?"
"I asked him if he wanted some and he didn't say anything,"
"He's had me gagged the whole time! I could hardly breathe!"
"Sirius, you need to at least give him water every day."
Harry got up and went to the entrance where there was a half full
jug of water. He carried it over to Draco.
Draco tried to conjure up his strength to lift himself up from
the floor but found he was too weak. The thought of the water
jug gave him an inexpressible joy but he couldn't help feeling
a tinge of bitterness as Harry had to lift him up and prop him
against the wall so he could take a drink.
As he got close to Draco, Harry's face screwed up involuntarily
in disgust. Draco was suddenly furious. The humiliation was too
much to take. He summoned up all his strength and pulled his hands
apart. The rope burned as it dug into his skin. He ignored the
pain which was shooting up his arm. He felt like his hands were
being ripped off. But suddenly, his hands were free!
He stood up and grabbed the hero who was frozen in fear and
gave him a powerful shove. Harry dropped the water jug and fell
back. There was a great CRACK as Harry's head hit the stone wall.
Blood began to trickle down his neck. The hero slid down the wall
and slumped onto the floor, his face still frozen in fear and
the acknowledgment of his own impending death.
Draco turned to the cretin to see that he had pulled out the
knife. But Draco was too quick for him. He rushed forward and
grabbed the handle of the knife underneath the cretin's fingers.
They were both holding the knife now, each struggling to gain
control of it. Draco could feel ripping pain in every muscle as
he strained to bring the knife around to point at the cretin's
heart. The cretin's expression showed complete shock and fear.
Draco felt the cretin's fear of him and it fed his determination.
He gave an almighty lurch and plunged the knife into the cretin's
slowly beating heart.
Draco looked up to see Harry holding up the water jug. Draco
instinctively tried to put his hands in front of him but found
they were still bound tightly behind him. The anger swelled as
the image of his glorious escape faded away. But the cramp in
his stomach made him forget his anger, for the moment, and he
let Harry support him as he drank.
Sweet, glorious, refreshing water cascaded into his mouth.
He could never remember water tasting so good. The cretin had
never let him drink directly from the jug. The cretin had always
soaked a piece of fabric, essentially a rag, and wrung the water
into his mouth. Draco felt the cool water that didn't make it
into his mouth, splashing down his face and into his lap. It felt
so wonderful. He was in such ecstasy, he didn't realize he was
choking. He wondered bitterly if he had forgotten how to drink
Harry pulled the jug away from his mouth as Draco fell back
to the floor in a coughing fit with his stomach cramping as if
it were in a vice.
"You still think he's acting, Sirius?" Harry said.
"He'll do whatever it takes, including taking advantage
of your good nature. Look at him. He's working you. He knows that
you're too kind to let him suffer, so he's laying it on extra
"Please." Draco croaked looking at the water jug.
Harry pulled him up and held the water jug to his mouth to let
him drink again.
When he had finished, the cretin said in a menacing voice,
"What do you say to Harry?"
Draco looked down, desperately masking his fury. "Thank
The cretin spoke louder this time. "Look at him when you're
talking to him."
Draco flinched as if he had hit him. He looked up at Harry
and said quickly, "Thank you, Harry." Harry turned away,
looking uneasy. He got up and grabbed a large piece of ham and
a napkin. He rocked a tree stump over to Draco and put the meat
on the napkin on the stump so Draco could reach it with his mouth.
Draco couldn't remember ham ever tasting so wonderful. The
salty meat made his previously dry mouth water more than ever.
There were some spices or seasonings on it. Something he knew
he'd had before. Was it ... honey? He had almost forgotten what
real food tasted like. Normally, he would have savored every bite
but now he gulped it down in one swallow before anyone could take
it away from him.
"You see? Now he's going to make himself sick." Sirius
shook his head in disgust.
"I'll cut the pieces smaller," said Harry slicing
off another chunk of ham.
Sirius stared at Harry. "It would have given him great
pleasure to personally hand you over to Voldemort, Harry. Don't
"I know, Sirius," Harry looked at him to show him
he was listening to him. "I'm just going to give him a little
Harry put the meat on the napkin for Draco and went back to
sit next to the cretin.
"Sirius, are you sure we have to involve..." he broke
off and looked toward Draco. Draco looked back down to his ham
and pretended not to be listening.
"Yes, Harry. The fact of the matter is that I don't know
how to do a memory charm. It's not something that the Ministry
likes for non-Ministry personnel to know. Moony can do it once
he gets his strength back, and more importantly, we can trust
"How is it that Profess-" Harry caught himself. "How
is it that Moony knows how to do a memory charm?"
Draco quickly glanced at the cretin to see him smiling.
"I think he felt a little left out of the illegal fun
when we were learning how to become animagus. So he taught himself
the Oblivius charm."
"Oh," said Harry. "But it's been over a week.
What are they going to think when they find him?"
"We'll think of a story to give him. It'll be all right,
Harry. We'll arrange it so that by the time anyone finds him,
Moony and I will be long gone."
"What do you mean? They won't find him right away? I thought
you were just going to modify his memory and let him go?"
there was a slight sense of panic in Harry's voice.
"He'll be fine, Harry. Honest. I really don't know why
you would worry about this slimy little git. He would sell your
soul to the devil for a knut."
"I'm not worried about him. I just... I don't want to
kill him if we don't have to, that's all."
"Of course not," Sirius said. "Not if we don't
Draco gulped, still savoring the lingering taste of meat on
They were going to subject him to a memory charm. He didn't
want to forget. He wanted to remember who had done this to him.
He wanted to make them pay.
Draco awoke one morning to hear voices from outside the cave.
They were whispering to each. Draco strained to hear what they
Suddenly two forms blocked the light in the cave entrance.
It was the cretin and somebody else. Draco squinted to make out
the silhouette. He was slightly familiar to Draco. The sight of
him brought back a memory from one of his Defense Against the
Dark Arts classes. A deranged, axe-wielding Muggle. Of course,
it hadn't been a psychotic Muggle, at all. It had been a boggart,
which his professor helped him to defeat. Professor Lupin! His
ex-professor, Remus Lupin was in the cave with them.
Any hope that he had come to rescue Draco was immediately dashed
when it became clear that he had come with the cretin. I should
have known, thought Draco. After all, he is a werewolf...
"Let's get this done with."
Remus Lupin bent down over Draco and looked at him sympathetically.
"I'm sorry, Draco."
Draco's heart started to race. Was he going to be eaten by
Remus took his wand out and pointed it at Draco's forehead.
Draco desperately concentrated all his thoughts and energies
to do one thing. Remember. He must remember the cretin. Remember
his face, his words.
But as Remus chanted, "Obliviate", the images that
Draco was clinging to slowly began to fade and he felt a calm,
nothingness take over his mind and he knew no more.
Inside the Great Hall, students were chatting noisily and the
smell of ham and sweet potatoes filled the air. The enchanted
ceiling was cloudy and a light snow was falling but mysteriously
never hitting the ground.
Pansy Parkinson cut her meat and looked over to Draco who was
sitting silently, staring at the food on his plate. He hadn't
touched it. Pansy hoped this wasn't going to be another bad day.
"Aren't you hungry?" she asked timidly.
Draco stared down at his plate and didn't answer.
Draco had had good days and bad days since he was found wandering
the streets of Hogsmeade two weeks earlier. He hadn't been able
to remember anything of where he had been.
His father, Lucius Malfoy, had refused to allow his son to
be subjected to the excruciating procedure that might restore
his memory. This had surprised Pansy. She had always thought that
Lucius Malfoy was a cold, uncaring man. He had shown in his small
way that he did care deeply about his son's welfare, and she was
grateful for it. But that didn't make it any easier. Draco had
changed. He was no longer the funny, considerate friend she had
grown so close to over the years. He was distant with her; cold.
She wished she could help him; bring the old Draco back. The Draco
she knew and loved. She hid the pity she felt for him; it would
only make him angry.
"After dinner, we can work some more on your Animagus
essay," she said.
Draco didn't look up. "I've got plans."
Pansy took a deep breath. "Draco," she said delicately,
"McGonagall only gave you an extension until Friday. You
really shouldn't put it off any more." She looked at him
sadly. "You used to be so excited about learning how to become
"There're more important things in life, Pansy."
Pansy bit her lip. She knew it was asking for trouble to push
him on the matter.
Draco continued to stare at his plate wrinkling his brow as
if trying to remember something from a dream.
"I thought you liked ham?" she said, taking a deep
breath. "Here, I'll cut some for you."
As she reached across the table, a ray of candlelight flickered
off the blade of her knife and lit up Draco's face. In one swift
movement, Draco grabbed her wrist tightly and pushed her back.
"I don't want any damn ham," he seethed. "Stop
treating me like a child!"
Pansy fought the tears that soon fell from her terrified eyes.
A few students nervously glanced over but quickly looked away
when they saw who it was.
"I'm sorry, Draco."
Draco sneered. "What? Are you going to cry? God, you're
Pansy looked down at her lap, tears streaming down her face.
"I miss you, Draco," she whispered.
Draco looked at her contemptuously. "What the hell are
you talking about? You miss me? I'm sitting right here! You're
talking like an idiot!"
Pansy sniffed. "I just miss the old Draco."
"Pull yourself together. You're disgusting. These are
serious times, Pansy. You've got to toughen up if you're going
to support the right side in the war."
Pansy had heard Draco make comments such as this, more and
more since he had come back from his disappearance. This time,
she found she couldn't keep her usual silence. "I don't want
to fight in a war, Draco! I just want to be with my friends, do
well in my classes, and be a normal student! Watch Quidditch games...
Don't you even like Quidditch anymore?"
"Quidditch is just a game, Pansy. I know what's important
now, the success of the Dark Lord and I'll be there to help him
to that end."
Pansy wiped her wet face with a napkin. "Why does it have
to be you? We're just kids."
Draco scoffed. "If you want to be a kid, why don't you
just go up to your room and play with your dolls, then?"
She looked deep into his eyes, only to see hatred and loathing.
"You heard me!" he spat. "Get out of my sight.
Go to your room. Better yet, go to the first years' dormitory
where you belong, you pathetic loser."
She desperately tried to mask her pain as she hurriedly got
up from the table and ran towards the doors of the Great Hall.
She didn't stop until she got to the corridor. She looked back
through the doors, hoping to see him running after her, apologetic
and concerned. The old Draco would have done so.
But he was still in his seat at the table, conversing with
Vincent. And laughing.
Pansy wiped away her tears. He was right, of course. They weren't
kids anymore. They could never go back. It was time to let go
of the past. "Time to get tough," she said, with new