#idk if they ever mention professor oak by name...
Of Redemption and Mercy (Dramione)
Chapter 2: Flashes of Colour
A/N Okay so Sorry this is longer than normal but we cover a LOT of ground this chapter let me know what you think! Next chapter coming soon! Idk how to insert a link to part 1 but you’ll find it on my blog. I’m so excited for this one hope you enjoy.
Summary: As Draco continues to fail his attempts to fulfill Voldemort’s mission, Dumbledore is inspired by the redemptions of one of his own allies to try and save Draco from the fate that awaits his path to darkness, and utilise his remorse to aid Harry, Ron and Hermione in defeating Voldemort once and for all. This leads the trio and Draco on a new path that transforms old prejudices and brings a new light of hope and mercy to them all.
Ch 1 Ch 2 Ch 3
Pairing: Draco Malfoy x Hermione granger
Draco’s impatient gait echoed throughout the corridor. His eyes shifted constantly - left, right, behind him - there was an anxiety lacing his actions that had never been there before. The past several months, with the many late nights completing assignments that were delayed in lieu his mission, had been draining him to the point of collapse. Never before had there been dark circles quite so profound on Draco’s pale face, making his cerulean eyes even more striking in comparison. He had thinned considerably, and his robes - once perfectly tailored - now swung loose and morose around him as he neared the dungeons.
Slightly irritated at Snape for removing him from class (and nervously aware of Potter's bespectacled eyes boring into the back of his head as he strode out of the room), Draco frantically contemplated the numerous possibilities for this unwelcome meeting, with his encounter at Slughorn's Christmas party standing out most profoundly in his mind, taking over his thoughts. 'So,' he thought jauntily, 'He'll be asking to assist me again, no doubt - he’s gasping for any glory he can get his hands on. Slytherin ambition, indeed.' Draco gave a short, dark laugh as he continued walking, but his face reflected no mirth as his brows furrowed further, his mind wandering once again to his mission. He knew his time was running out, and fast. It wouldn’t be much longer until the Dark Lord would lose his temper, and his insides twisted at the thought of what that would entail for him. His hands adopted the nervous shake they’d taken on in the last few weeks since Christmas. The warning he’d received then still haunted his nights, causing what little restful sleep he usually enjoyed to elude him. This was instead replaced with images of fangs and fire permeating his mind and frigid sweat penetrating his pyjamas.
As if on auto-pilot, he turned towards the potion-master's office. Still preoccupied with his thoughts, the knot in his stomach began to writhe and move upwards, tightening in his throat and making his breaths shallow and fast. What if Snape had found out about the Room of Requirement? Draco slowed as he approached the aged oak door, coming to a stop as his father filled his mind. Under no circumstances could Snape help; not when Lucius Malfoy's gratitude was within Draco's grasp. He moved his hand to grasp the knocker at the door, but it swung open quickly, revealing Snape sitting behind his desk, his wand in the air. Draco noticed a basin to the left of the professor, filled to the brim with what looked like liquid silver. There were vials in a stand on the large weathered desk, but before Draco could voice the many questions running through his mind, Snape spoke.
Draco took a few steps forward, then stopped, keeping a large distance between himself and the basin and looking at Snape skeptically. The door snapped shut behind him.
‘Why is it you summoned me, professor?’ Draco asked, attempting to prevent exhaustion from leaching into his voice.
Snape pursed his lips. ‘I am aware of the mission which the Dark Lord has given you, as you well know.’ At this, it was Draco's turn to narrow his eyes, but Snape pressed on curtly. ‘I am also aware that you are not making progress at a rate which is acceptable to the Dark Lord.’
Draco blinked, panic rising inside of him. ‘Has - has he spoken to you?’
Snape continued to stare, and considered the tall, pale figure in front of him. He seemed to be quivering slightly. Pressing a little into Draco's mind, he sensed enormous fear - as well as cold feet. After a long pause, he answered finally, ‘No. However, it is abundantly clear that if you were committing yourself to this task wholeheartedly, it would have been completed already.’
His mouth opening in rage, Draco could no longer prevent the tremor from entering his voice. ‘Not committing wholeheartedly? What do you know? I’ve at least been given this task, he - he trusts me. If he trusted you to do it he would have given you the mission instead! If - if he thought that you-‘
‘Don't delude yourself,’ Snape barked. ‘If the Dark Lord had wanted this done immediately he would have charged me with the task. This is a test for you, for your loyalty - and so far you have shown no sign of loyalty, only fear. That is your motivation, and that is something the Dark Lord can detect. Even that seems to be waning, replaced only with a wish to escape.’
Draco made to argue, but couldn’t formulate the words. His mouth became dry, his tongue numb. 'He knows,' he thought miserably. 'He knows I don’t want to do this anymore. Hell kill me, hell kill me…..'
His mind began to race, paralysing him with fear. He felt the room spinning around him, and backed up into the wall to balance himself and keep from falling over. Snape stood and placed his hands on both sides of the desk.
‘The Dark Lord,’ he murmured, ‘Has powers far beyond your comprehension. Any trace of a disloyal inclination, and he will sense it. His legilimency is unlike any other. Except, perhaps, that of Dumbledore.’
At the mention of his headmaster's name, Draco’s mind immediately sprang out of its stupor. ‘What are you going on about?’ he snapped angrily. ‘Does the old crack know what-‘
‘No,’ Snape interrupted, ‘but Potter has been voicing suspicions against you. Fervently. He’s put you into Dumbledore's path and if you are summoned for questioning there will be nothing you can do to defend yourself. He will penetrate your mind with ease. Nothing will be hidden.’
Snape paused, and watched as Draco's eyes lost focus. The fear etched upon his face was all too familiar; that same fear had masked his own once. Before Draco could say anything, Snape continued. ‘This is what I wish to help with.’
Draco slowly looked up at him, and Snape walked out from behind his desk, temporarily blocking the light emanating from the strange, shining basin. ‘Allow me to teach you Occlumency,’ he said. ‘It can shield you from any legilimency that Dumbledore or the Dark Lord himself may wish to invoke upon your mind, protecting you from their respective wraths.’
His mind whirring with excitement, Draco paused and considered this offer. Doubt began to cloud his mind once again. ‘How do I know you won't impose on my mind, trying to find out more about my task?’ He asked snidely.
At this, Snape turned around to face his desk, and grabbed a vial from out of the stand. He took his wand and, placing it to his temple, drew out a long silvery thread. He placed it in the vial, corked it shut, and set it down behind him. ‘Thoughts of your mission will be removed prior to each lesson and placed in these vials, and you can restore them to your mind after the lesson has concluded. I need never know what it is you’re doing.’
They both stood there, looking at each other for a long time. Emotions coursed through Draco’s mind - fear, relief, anger; was he being weak? How dare Snape assume he could not finish the mission? But if the Dark Lord ever found out….
Finally, he began to nod ever so slowly. ‘Fine. I'll do it.’
Snape straightened up, removed another memory from his temple, and rather than placing it in a vial, laid it instead inside the basin. He grabbed hold of the other vial and poured its contents into the basin as well.
‘Then let's begin.’
Draco gave a start. ‘What, now? I’m in the middle of class professor, you can't possibly expect-‘
‘I expect that any day now Dumbledore may summon you to his office and inquire about your activities, and that you need to begin preparations now,’ Snape responded sharply, with a cold look in his eye.
Pursing his lips, Draco said nothing, which Snape took to mean as compliance. ‘Take out your wand.’
Draco withdrew his wand from his robes as Snape raised his own, pointing it straight at Draco's chest. ‘Clear your mind.’ Shutting his eyes tightly, Draco tried to focus on nothing; on black, cold emptiness, but the piercing glint of two eyes, red and snakelike, continually haunted him.
He opened his eyes just as Snape uttered, ‘Legilimens,’ but before he could react, he felt a disturbing, foreign presence in his mind - as though every thought, feeling, urge he had ever had was being scrutinised. Almost immediately, the office fell away before him, and he was - in his home?
The cold, stone floors of Malfoy Manor hit hard under his feet, and he saw the figure of his father standing before him, his long blonde hair tied neatly behind his back as he faced the empty fireplace. Off to his side, he saw his mother standing near their enormous bookshelf, hands clasped in front of her, her eyes on the Persian rug below her feet.
‘F-father?’ Draco stared, incredulously, at the sight of Lucius Malfoy before him.
Lucius turned, and looked directly at Draco, his unfeeling eyes boring into his core. ‘An utter disappointment,’ he spat, taking a step closer. ‘How could you have come second in your studies to a Mudblood, of all people? Again?’
Dread began to seep throughout Draco’s limbs; he was confused, forgetting that this had already happened and opened his mouth to respond when the sound of a higher, younger voice echoed throughout the chamber. ‘But father,’ it pleaded, ‘I did everything I could….’
‘Everything? You shrugged off your studies, letting that disgrace for a witch show you up. And,’ Lucius laughed mirthlessly, ‘you allowed Potter to best you at Quidditch! Made a complete fool of yourself, humiliating our entire family in the process…’
‘Father I’m sorry, I tried but-‘
‘SORRY?’ Lucius bellowed, his eyes glinting with a malice not present there before. Moving so fast it was difficult to catch, Lucius’s arm swung out, and though Draco was still several steps back, he still felt the echo of the strike his father had given him stinging his face, his eyes beginning to fill with tears once more. He looked for help over to where his mother stood, but her gaze remained at the floor - though her face seemed to be sorrowful.
‘You don’t deserve to be a Malfoy.’
As these words left Lucius's mouth, a slight, strangled whimper escaped from Draco as his knees buckled beneath him. Without warning, the room dissolved away, and he felt a sharp pain where he slammed his knee onto the stone floor. He leaned forward, hands clasping the edge of the desk, his breathing heavy. He felt Snape's presence off to his right, and as soon as he recovered his breath, rose from the floor, his face flush with anger.
‘How - DARE - you-‘
‘The Dark Lord will have access to memories far less trivial than that, if you do not learn to control yourself.’
‘You have no right…’ Draco began to splutter, but Snape interjected.
‘That will be all for today. You will meet me here at 8 o’clock next Wednesday evening for your subsequent lesson. Do not miss it.’
Snape returned to behind his desk and sat down, examining some papers present there and refusing to meet Draco's eye. After standing there incredulously a few more moments, Draco pivoted and walked out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
—— ——- ——
And so the lessons continued, Draco returning week after week and showing significant progress - progress that Potter had never demonstrated, much to Snape's twisted pleasure. Time went on, with Draco continuously reliving many of his most haunted moments, which consisted usually of fearful encounters with his father or terrifying glimpses of the Dark Lord. These memories, as Snape discussed with Dumbledore, were not what was needed to properly motivate Draco in the right direction. He did not seem to be revealing even a trace of such a memory - until one evening, a month into the Occlumency lessons.
Draco knocked, entered, and removed the memories of his mission, as usual. Per routine, Snape stood up, emptied his own memories into the Pensieve, and placed himself in front of the desk, wand raised at Draco. Breathing deeply, Draco attempted to clear his mind, then stared determinedly at Snape. The professor opened his mouth, and stated firmly, ‘Legilimens,’ and felt himself falling into the depths of Draco’s mind.
Rather than being greeted with the usual unpleasant sight of the Malfoys’ living room, Snape was startled to find himself out on the front lawn at Hogwarts. There were bushes that had been enchanted to sprout and form a garden, fairies lighting the space around them, a layer of powdered snow blanketing the grounds. He looked and saw the image of a younger, healthier Draco, dressed in the finest of robes for the Yule Ball and standing solitary at the door to the castle. Snape walked over to the lone figure and followed it as it walked into the Great Hall.
The chairs, walls, and ceiling were gilded with a layer of sparkling frost, and most of the students seemed to have cleared out for the evening, though some stragglers remained. The band was playing an upbeat tune, and a few dancers were present on the floor. The younger Draco walked out amongst the many silver tables, staying near the outer fringes of the hall, out of sight from most of the students and finally stopped to lean against the wall. Snape was about to turn and leave the memory when he saw Draco's head turn sharply in another direction. Snape followed his gaze, and saw a flash of brilliant, periwinkle blue move past him, laughing merrily, and the sweet scent of Sleakeazy’s hair grease met his crooked nose. He turned just quickly enough to see a head of sleek brown hair spin past him, accompanied by a slightly stooped but powerfully built Durmstrang student, both smiling broadly.
Snape looked back quickly at the young Draco, and saw a scowl adorning his face. Snape felt the entire hall fill with the anger, the pain, the longing that radiated off of Draco and coursed through his memory, and the room began to shake around them. Snape felt himself pulled forcibly out of the memory and back into his office, where he stood, bewildered, before Draco. His wand was pointed directly at Snape’s chest, and his whole body seemed to be trembling - not from fear, but from an unprecedented rage. There was a long silence, and the two stared at one another, both breathing heavily. For the first time, Draco's eyes were alight with a passionate fury that Snape had once felt within himself. But those eyes were not purely furious - they were tinged with a sadness, too, a sadness that had lingered within Snape's own mind for years, a constant plague upon his senses.
After what felt like hours, Draco lowered his wand, his hand still shaking in anger. Without a word spoken between the two of them, Draco grabbed the vials containing his memories, whipped around, and strode from the office, quickly vanishing from Snape's astounded gaze. He had found Draco’s redeemer.
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