All My Life
“All my life I’ve been disillusioned.” Draco sighed. “I don’t understand why Potter turned his back on me. I told him everything.”
Nikolae sat on the edge of his sarcophagus and looked at Draco, who was climbing into a bed that had not been there earlier. “Would it help you to know that, with the exception of Severus, who refused to vote, Harry was the only one opposed? He complains the loudest when it comes to you, Draco, yet he defends you with the voice of a lion. In the end he acquiesced. Of course no one really wanted to do it. We all had our reservations and our prayers will be with you, but the fact is that Voldemort has vowed not to kill you. Your life is not in danger. We had to do what was best for the wizarding world.”
“You?” Draco sat up, “You voted to send me back? And to think I actually liked you! Stop being nice to me if you hate me so much!” Draco threw himself down on the pillows and turned his back on the vampire. “And the same goes for Sara. You can just tell her that for me.”
“She doesn’t know. We feared it would upset her and she’s in no condition to come to your rescue.” Nikolae explained, “Don’t worry, Draco. We will get you out of this.”
“Potter said it would only be a few days.” Draco said, “How can you be so sure this plan will work? What if this so-called opportunity comes a moment too soon? What if you lose? Am I supposed to believe that everything will simply fall into place?”
“Sara saw it.” Nikolae lied. Sara, he knew, had seen no such thing. This falsehood was meant only to protect Dumbledore’s informants.
Draco was quiet for a long moment, so long that Nikolae assumed he was falling asleep and was about to leave him to it. Then he spoke. “I love her, you know.”
“I wish she’d never met Potter. I wish the night I met her that I’d been a different person. Had I been, everything would have turned out for the better. My life wouldn’t be the cruel joke it’s become. There would be no mark on my arm.” Draco whispered, “I’d be happy.”
“She loves you, Draco, but not the way you love her. Not the way she loves Harry.”
“You can’t convince me of that.”
“Ah, but I have seen her soul and I know what’s in her heart. You must let go of this desperation you feel or you will never be happy. If you do not, the thought of her will forever be a source of pain for you, a wound that will never close.”
“If I could decide to stop being in love with Sara, don’t you think I would have done it a long time ago? When she agreed to marry Potter? When she killed my father?”
“You need to understand that she will never return what you feel. You know it in your heart, yet you won’t accept it. She holds you above all others, Draco. All except one. Nothing will change that.”
Draco pulled the covers over his head, the vampire’s words like a white- hot blade. His voice was small when he spoke and choked with emotion. “Leave me alone.”
Nikolae sighed, having dealt the second of two harsh blows. He said nothing as he left the room, only hesitated in the doorway, wishing he could ease the boy’s pain with wisdom and gentle words. He could not. Draco would have to deal with this knowledge in his own way.
* * *
Morning brought a new day and Draco waited patiently for Harry to come let him out of the room. (Nikolae, of course, was asleep in his sarcophagus.) In the torchlight he lay on the small bed that had been supplied to him, he assumed to ease his discomfort before they sent him off to certain torture. His head was surprisingly clear, even though he could not see the sun, and he decided to relish his last day of freedom. He would be in the catacombs before the next break of dawn.