DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of this stuff. Its all JKR's.
Thanks again to my wonderful betas, chudley canons and potter-maniac.
Six months earlier…
He looked around himself hoping to see a friendly face. But all his tired eyes perceived were fiends. He looked around hoping to find a little comfort, but all he found was hatred and malice. He looked around with hope etched on his aristocratic features but soon sank back in his seat, disappointment writ large on his haggard face.
“Why should I curse them?” he thought drearily, “When my own heart is cursing me day and night.”
He had spent every single day since his imprisonment cursing his fate. He knew that he had been an idiot to risk her life. His tears had all dried up and all he could do was conjure up beautiful images of what would have happened if he had been more sensible.
For a long time, he had been planning to express his true feelings to her. He had hoped that she would reciprocate his feelings. He had wished that she wouldn’t be surprised or offended. He had prayed that it wouldn’t damage their friendship.
That had been the sole reason why he had kept pushing his emotions at the back of his head. She had been there for him when no one had trusted him. His own kind had labeled him as a persona non grata and left him to rot in the streets.
It was then that she had shown compassion and benevolence towards the one who had tormented her throughout their childhood. She had helped him during his time of need and salvaged his blemished soul. She had assisted him in his reformation and stood for him against all odds.
"The damsel in shining armour saving a knight in distress,” he chuckled slightly at the thought.
In the beginning he had been immensely surprised when he had discovered his true feelings for her. He never knew when his hatred towards Muggle-borns dissipated and paved the way for acceptance. He never knew how he changed from a haughty and pompous being to a humble and polite one.
All he knew was that he had transformed from a beast to a human; courtesy of a particular beauty.
He was in love.
That was something new for him.
Since his childhood, his father had raised him to be cold and cruel. His calculating mind had taught him to stay away from such destructive emotions. He had been taught that nothing had ever been achieved by those who let their hearts take over their brains. Love and friendship only resulted in pain and made one mentally weak. They drained one emotionally, eventually rending him powerless in the hands of his own core.
“Only fools fall in love,” his father used to tell him. “Always remember, son, only those who control their emotions can ever be triumphant. Others succumb to their broken hearts.”
And he knew that he was indeed a fool.
A fool to have believed his father. A fool to have let his mind override his heart. A fool to have let the love of his life die before his own eyes.
The day she had entered his life she had altered his perspective towards his very existence. She had taught him the meaning of friendship. She had stayed by his side constantly encouraging him, motivating him and inspiring him to dig out his true self from within the numerous layers of malice and contempt.
Even he never found out when he fell for her.
However one fateful day changed it all. The plan his master had formulated had safeguarded her security and well being but it was just a hoax. They had offered her as the bait for his support and he had gladly jumped at the proposal.
But he knew that what was done was done.
Her demise had awakened his cold and calculating self and rekindled the dark flames of his soul. He was filled with a desire to make her true killers suffer as much as humanly possible. Only one word occupied his mind every living moment: vengeance.
And he knew that he would have it.
The only thing he wanted the most in the world had been mercilessly snatched away from him and he was determined to make the culprits pay.
But he had no idea how.
Suddenly the bailiff announced the arrival of the Minister for Magic putting an end to his musings.
All the members of the Wizengamot and the other spectators stood up in the Minister’s honour, except him.
“How can I with these chains binding me to this awful chair?” he thought drily.
The Minister and his subordinates began their ordeals. But he preferred to shut them out and let his thoughts drift away to her.
He was so engrossed in her memories that the Minister had to call out his name twice. When he finally had his attention he spoke up, “Mr Draco Malfoy, as per our records, you are here to await trial for the murder of Miss Hermione Granger committed on the 20th day of June. Am I right?”
Draco nodded his head resignedly.
“If only they knew what she meant to me, they would never have convicted me of her murder,” he murmured chancing a glance at Potter and Weasley.
Both former Gryffindors showered him with death glares in response.
“And the convict has pleaded not guilty?” he asked.
Draco again nodded in response.
“Bail denied,” the Minister said curtly. “You are being sentenced to life imprisonment under our ‘top priority prisoners scheme’ as you have been charged with murdering a member of the Order. Next case to be presented,” he ordered the bailiff.
Draco was shocked beyond words. He hadn’t been given a single chance to say anything in his defense. He looked around himself just to find his two former classmates sneering at him.
“But I am innoce…” he started but could never finish as he was handcuffed by two stolid guards and manhandled out of the courtroom.
“What a reformed prison system this is,” he shouted behind his back, the trademark ‘Malfoy smirk’ creeping in its place. “I had been given every chance to defend myself. I had full liberty to express my opinions. I had…”
Soon his voice faded away in the dark along with its owner.
The Wizengamot proceeded towards the next case: that of Avery for the murder of Neville Longbottom.
All his pleas as well as his sarcasm had fallen on deaf ears.
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