|Title:||The Day I Tried to Live|
|Posted On:||2005-02-06 00:00:00|
The Day I Tried to Live---
Author: Lucia di Medici
Summary: The last words of Draco Malfoy as he considers following in the footsteps of his father and submitting to the rule of the Dark Lord.
Pairings (None): Draco
Disclaimer: Not mine to own, but always a pleasure to watch. Non-profitas.
Author’s Notes: This is a subtle abstraction on the Malfoy dynasty. The idea of using lines from a suicide note sent to a destroyed Lucius seemed very fitful, I wrote through the cliff imagery interspersing things from my own journal that created the initial ambiance – it only came to me afterwards that letter writing is habitual in the wizarding world and therefore, the last letter of Draco Malfoy seemed entirely appropriate. I think it’s important to remember that there is beauty in darkness, passion behind the things that are unseen and unspoken, and there is most definitely honor in some deaths, this being one of them.
The Day I Tried to Live
Sometimes we forget how far we’ve come, through the circle round, into darkness then back out into the light in a never-ending ellipse. As the moon forever chases the sun, we go thus and return again to where we first began.
On the edges of the Malfoy estate, a lithe boy clad in onyx wizarding robes walked to the edge of the precipice that surrounded his childhood home and hunkered down on the granite ledge. The lip of the cliff jutted a mere three feet before him, below the darkness slid its fingers over the rock and spiralled downwards into nothingness – an abyss. His father had though the idea rather clever, more effective than a moat; it afforded a protection that few families like the Malfoy’s could live without. It was rumoured, though Draco had never actually dared to confirm it, the crack in the earth was enchanted that, when an errant house elf disobeyed the request of their masters and found themselves punished and tossed into the gaping maw in the ground – they would fall forever and without end.
He shivered, the wind swirling around his frame and lifting the hems of his robes.
I believe that in the deepest recesses of the human mind we possess an inherent ability to seek, destroy and conquer all odds, regardless the risk, the threat. I lapse into parallel thought, claw at strands of burden that anchor us to the here and the now, the constant ever-beating heart of the earthly plane, and in a second consciousness flares and magic begins as our field of vision expands to embrace what goes beyond the physical and imminent.
He’d woke that morning like any other day, bathed, combed his flaxen hair, dressed and ate breakfast in the dining room. At his mother’s suggestion they’d planned to visit the Ministry the next day to arrange a position for him in the Department of Mysteries. They’d stop in London after, visit Diagon Alley, have lunch. Draco would return home, sit at his desk and draw up a letter for his father who was still, after two years, incarcerated in Azkaban.
This time, like the day before, and the day before that, his father wouldn’t respond.
As of nine o’clock Tuesday morning, Lucius Malfoy would never again look again at his son, nor his wife with recognition. He would stare absently ahead, a line of drool slipping from his mouth over a firm jaw line and spilling onto the lapel of his rapidly deteriorating robes. He would never know his son kept writing to him, or that Draco, after seventeen years, and shrieking only once as he came our from his mother’s womb when the mediwitch had slapped his pink bottom – had not cried.
Draco wondered if a soul like his would taste bitter to the Dementors.
Threatened at the edge of expanse, the great, jutting crag of a cliff that spirals downwards into nothingness – but really, it’s only a step into the other. Fear grips at the fabric that twists around our legs and threatens to pull us over; it swirls like a harsh gust, smelling of sulfur and fire.
He dug his thin fingers into his hair and pulled hard, willing himself to keen, to howl, to do something other than grit his teeth and swallow the discomfort. Lucius had taught him early on that to crack and bawl like a woman, letting his emotions overtake his senses and lose total and utter control was not acceptable. As a child he’d practiced this particular lesson days on end, causing himself pain by wrapping his small and delicate child’s hands around burning embers from the hearth fire, watching his flesh smoulder and burst. After which his father would heal his hands and smile at him proudly, smooth his hair and lead him through the estate’s gardens. They’d walk in silence, sometimes sitting by the large fountain, surrounded by azaleas and creeping bougainvillea. Sometimes they’d visit the Malfoy crypt and Lucius would take Draco’s freshly healed hands, and together they’d trace the names of his Great-Grandfathers carved into the marble walls.
He was taught to withstand the greatest pains of the cruciatus curse – it hurt like hell, but Draco wouldn’t whimper or beg for it to stop. He’d thrash around on the cold stones in the dungeons of the manor, emerging later bruised and bloodied from the violence of his twisting, but he always grit his teeth never allowing a sound to escape. Sometimes, he’d bite through his lip or his tongue, diverting the pain elsewhere, but there were never any tears. The house elves would bathe him, apply salves and ointments to the worst of his lacerations, and his father would say “Draco, you make the line of your ancestors proud.” Then Lucius would lead him through the halls of Malfoy manor, pointing out the portraits of the greatest and strongest of the Malfoy men.
When he was six, Draco imagined leading his own son through the very same hallowed halls, where at the end his father’s painting hung austere. Next to Lucius, Draco’s own likeness would rest - immortalized.
As close as I am to the edge, I hesitate, unwilling to take this test you’ve presented me, but I feel it pressing in at the back of my eyes, a darkness that creeps behind the path of the sun.
The sky overhead was tumultuous – grey and black clouds churning sinister patters across a rapidly darkening sky. On his left forearm the caked blood twinged and pulled at his opened skin. He felt the Mark sear again painfully, the summons was agony – it was like live ashes were prickling and burrowing deeper into his flesh. He’d tried to dig it out of his skin the first time the pain snatched at him earlier that day. At first he’d clawed at the Mark, raking his manicured nails across it, then failing to stop the burrowing, throbbing heat he’d grabbed a letter opener and tried to scrape it off – taking off layers of aristocratically pale flesh, but still the Dark Lord’s sigul remained.
Now, the brand throbbed dully. The pain would lash again in a few moments time, but Draco refused to apparate to the Dark Lord’s side, ready and willing to take the place of his father.
Draco’s childhood lessons danced brightly in his mind, out of all of them, he’d learned that a Malfoy prizes power over himself above all else. Power that came before power over others, if a Malfoy could not wield his sense of self, his pride was lost and he no longer deserved his name. It was that control that Lucius gave up himself when he’d taken the Mark, pride lost the first time he knelt and kissed the hem of the Dark Lord’s robes, and Draco had been fool enough to follow in his example and disobey the one lesson he’d learned while tossing hot coals and whilst beneath the cruciatus curse.
Draco stood and moved forwards two paces as the rocks under his feet crumbled and pebbles fell to the darkness below. Hands limp at his sides; his blond hair lashing at his forehead, his robes slapping violently around him in the gale.
Draco remembered the face of his father and closed his eyes.
Let it envelop me, ragged breathing, the weight pressing on the chest a sure sign of unrelenting anxiety. It keeps me from sleeping at night. It’s been woven into my bones. Lineage. Loyalty. Pride. Power.
Draco stood, toes peeking over the crag, and spread his arms - the wind circling around his legs causing his robes to flap violently. He breathed, tilting his head back and savouring the crisp scent of burning firewood and cedar.
A single tear formed in the corner of his eye, before it could fall – he stepped forward.