He flees from the noises of the party onto the balcony, staring blindly at the stars, trying to ignore the drunken singing of the Weasley twins. In the three weeks since the end of everything, they haven’t even gotten close to sobriety, he’s sure.
Twenty minutes later, she finds him right there, leaning against the banister, head tilted back, blind and numb to the world.
“Oh,” she apologizes, “Didn’t see you there. This is usually my little hiding place for these events.”
How often do they celebrate the end of a war, he wonders but doesn’t say it out loud because he saw Buffy Summers and her army of Valkyries sweep across the battlefield, laying waste to anything clad in black and white. These people know about war, probably more than he does. Galling, but true.
He shrugs and grunts, flinching at the uncouth sound and then sneering at himself. As if there is anyone left now, to care whether his behavior is up to Malfoy standards.
She leans next to him, her gaze politely on the stars, but her entire focus is on him, he can feel it. “Don’t feel like partying?”
“I killed my father,” he tells her, out of the blue. Why is he telling her this? So far, no-one has bothered to reconstruct the events of the battle enough to figure out who killed who in the end. No-one knows that it was him who killed the notorious Lucius Malfoy. “I warned him to stay away from the battle, but he didn’t and I… two words. That’s all it takes to kill someone. Two words.”
Once upon a time, he was practically salivating for a chance to fight, to prove himself. Glory in war and death. Now… now he knows better. Two words is all it takes to kill a person with magic and that’s wrong. No-one should have that much power. All his life, his father preached to him about dangerous, monstrous muggles, but it’s them who are unnatural.
And he directed them at his own father.
“That sucks,” she comments and he hisses in disgust.
“What do you know?” His own father.
“When I was seventeen,” she tells him, not the least bit offended, “I stabbed my boyfriend with a sword to save the world.”
Maybe she does know. Still. “Congratulations. Would you like to cry now?”
She points a single digit at him, glaring, “Hey, buddy, you started the heart to heart. I was just hiding from those redheads that keep singing.”
“Hiding does not require speaking, does it?” He might not have his estate or his reputation anymore, but he still had words like knives to keep those that would pity him at bay. She glares a bit longer, then huffs and returns her gaze to the stars, ignoring him. He does the same.
Until, five minutes later, she asks, “Was there another way?”
“No.” Of course there wasn’t another way. He would hardly have killed his last remaining relative if there had been any chance at avoiding it, no matter how small.
“Then you did what you had to do. Magic words, knife, bare hands. You had to kill him and you did it. That’s all there is to it.”
“And time will heal all wounds, yes?” Anyone with half a thought in their heads would have long since fled from his acidic mood. She stays.
“No. But breathing gets easier eventually.”
Once more, he snarls at her presumptuous attitude, thinking to give him life advice. She doesn’t know him, doesn’t know his situation or his insides. How dare she! She may have been useful during the battle, but she is still little more than a muggle, without the slightest clue about his family. He should just draw his wand and –
He freezes at the thought of aiming his wand at her and speaking two words. Green fire and then silence. It would be so easy. Too easy. Killing is too easy. He’s pretty sure it shouldn’t be.
He laughed at Potter, laughed at his struggle to find another way, any other way to get rid of Voldemort, other than killing him. He called him a coward, scared of a little spell. Now he understands.
And suddenly the image of the blonde beside him cutting her way through the battlefield flashes before his eyes. She kills as easily as he does, easier. She doesn’t need words. All she needs is a flick of her wrist, a bit of pressure.
“Malfoy?” she asks, looking worried. He zoned out on her completely. No-one should have that much power.
He only realizes he’s spoken out loud when she nods and her lips quirk in an odd half smile. “No, they shouldn’t.”
He has no answer to that and so they lapse into silence again.
“You know, if you wanna talk about it… I could listen.” A hesitant and heartfelt offer as she pushes herself toward the balcony doors, ready to face the crowd again.
For a moment he is tempted, so very tempted, to break down and talk. He should, he knows that. He wouldn’t have blurted his father’s death out otherwise. And she would probably understand. But she is… she is Buffy Summers, American muggle vampire slayer and he, Draco Malfoy, last of the Ancient and Noble House of Malfoy, pureblood of the seventeenth generation.
He has nothing in common with her except the frightening ability to kill with barely more than a thought.
“Thank you, but I have no intention whatsoever to bare my black little heart to the likes of you.”
He sneers, she glares and the world is as it is supposed to be.
Inside, the Weasley clan enters their fifty-seventh rendition of Henry VIII.