Disclaimer: everything belongs to J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.

*This fic is canon compliant.

*Anything written in Italics will be a flashback.

*Fic switches between First and Third Person.


The Girl With The Radish Earrings

Everyone is watching.

Everyone is standing there, watching, waiting for him to make a choice.

Judging him.

He can feel their eyes burning into his skull with their accusations, their hopes, their prayers that this will all work out somehow, in the end.

But this is the end, isn't it?

Voldemort has won. Potter is dead and there isn't anything anyone can do about it.

His eyes drift across what used to be a lovely courtyard, now turned rubble and ash, to land on his parents. Their eyes are pleading, begging almost, as they gesture wildly for Draco to join them, to take his rightful place at their sides. He swallows as he meets his Father's gaze. Lucius stares intently back, trying to convey some secret message only he himself can understand.

"Draco, Draco my son," Mother says and her voice is calm but her eyes hold a sea of terror. "Come here."

"Draco, come to us now." Because there is no other option, is there?

There is only the Dark Lord.

He takes a hesitant step forward, his breathing erratic, as he glances around softly. Death, everywhere, in all their eyes.

Only death.

As he makes his way across, the Dark Lord intercepts him and before he can resist, as if he even could, Voldemort embraces him.

Draco can feel his skin crawling. It's as if he's being embraced by death itself.

How very fitting.

The Dark Lord releases him and he continues on, across the wasteland that was his school, to stand beside the sinners he calls his parents.

This is it, this is where he belongs Draco thinks, but then he feels it. Soft as a butterfly, caressing his form. Her gaze is on him, probably has been for a long time. But he can't look at her. Not after what he's done. He's proven her wrong. She said this wasn't him but it is. This is exactly him.

This was him then, when he first met her on the Astronomy Tower.

This was him when she was imprisoned in his basement and he didn't go to her, was too afraid to face her.

This is him now.

He just wishes he could have been what she believed him to be, that strange, wondrous girl with the radish earrings.

Flashback

Gasping I throw myself against the railing, staring out desperately across the landscape. I feel like I'm falling apart from the inside out. I don't know what is up or down, right or wrong, nothing is what it should be.

I have to kill him.

But do I want to?

Yes, of course, it's what he wants me to do.

I was chosen for this, ME, Draco Malfoy.

No one else.

So why haven't I done it already? What's holding me back?

Nothing.

Than why haven't I done it already!

It should be easy, killing that old coot. Poison in his drink, a deadly gift, a knife in the back, but why can't I do it?

I sink to my knees, leaning back along the wall of the astronomy tower, my fists clamped to either side of my head. I wanted this, this is what I've wanted all along, I asked for this but here I am, hesitating. Wasting precious time.

"It's lovely up here, isn't it?"

I jerk up shocked to see a girl standing not far from me. She's peering around herself in apparent fascination.

"Who the bloody hell are you?" I snarl, glaring as I try to get a better look at her.

She steps out into the light of the moon and I take her in.

Long curly platinum blonde hair hangs down her back, encased in a ponytail. Her eyes are a strange shade of blue, greenish almost in color, like the calm before a storm.

She's wearing a dark green button up sweater with the strangest red capri's I've ever seen.

Underneath these she has on black and green striped stockings and to top it all off….

cotton candy pink high top converse.

But that's not what draws my gaze, no, I'm fixated on her strange choice of jewelry.

Radishes.

This bizarre girl is wearing radishes for earrings.

"Do you mind if I join you?"

She asks as if she hadn't even heard my question.

"Yes."

I hiss but again, she acts as if she hadn't heard me in favor of wandering off to look up at the stars.

Crossing her arms and resting them along the railing, she gazes out upon the black lake. Humming appreciatively she turns and offers me a small smile.

"Isn't it just dazzling out here at night? A lot of the students find it creepy but I think it's rather peaceful, don't you?"

"It was until you came along."

I snap as I lean haughtily up against the far wall. Can't this girl take a hint? But she just hums again, a tuneless song as the sun begins to peek over the mountains in the distance.

"So what's troubling you?"

She asks suddenly and I jerk forward.

"What in Merlin's name makes you think I'm troubled?!"

How dare she claim to know there's something wrong with me?

She knows nothing! Nothing!

"Oh, I don't know, I just like to come up here when there's something very important for me to think on. Helps to clear my head, especially since there's no nasty zarblers up here."

I'm not even going to try to decipher that last part.

Taking a deep breath and looking very put upon, I stalk over to stand next to her. She's much shorter than me I realize as I peer down at her.

There's an air of familiarity to this girl, I've definitely seen her before, but where?

"The state of my mind is no business of yours girlie."

I mutter as I glare ahead.

She just hums in response, completely oblivious to my sour mood. We stand in silence for a long time, me brooding and her simply enjoying the crisp night air. I find myself almost enjoying her presence after a couple of moments, though I'm loath to admit it. There's something calming about her that I can't quite put my finger on.

The gentle peace is broken when she speaks.

"You shouldn't do it."

I whip around to face her in disbelief. How could she know what I'm planning? I hadn't spoken of it to a soul except for Snape, and that had been begrudgingly at best.

"You had the oddest look on your face," she continues, "when I first got up here I mean. Like someone who's doing something they very much don't enjoy. I know because I get that face sometimes, when Professor Binns assigns one of his presentations. Although it's nowhere near as cross as yours."

How can she read me so easily? No one else has bothered to notice my struggle. Not even my 'friends'.

She's smiling at me as she tries to meet my eyes but I can't bare her gaze. I keep looking away. Her eyes are open in a way I've never seen before. It hurts me to look into them.

She makes me feel guilty.

I get myself together and turn to paced agitatedly along the walk. "You don't know what you're talking about," it all suddenly comes tumbling out in a rush, "it's not that simple!"

"What's not that simple?"

"I can't just not do it! Damn you, I can't! I swore I would and if I don't he'll… Merlin I don't know what he'll do but it won't be any bloody good."

She comes to be just beyond my left shoulder as I stand there in a huff, chest heaving, fists clenched. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to block her out.

I shouldn't have said that.

I didn't mean to say any of that but as I'd turned she'd caught my eye and it all just… came out.

This girl has a power over me and I don't like it. She makes me feel weak. Vulnerable. Laid open, like a wound.

It's unsettling.

I can feel her hand come to hover less than an inch from my arm. She wants to reach out to me but she's hesitating. I wonder why that is? She doesn't seem like the type of person to hold back when she means to act.

"Perhaps you need to reconsider who you spend your time with." She says it like it's the easiest thing in the world. If only she knew.

I can't handle this. Spinning on the spot, I grab her by the shoulders and walk her swiftly back until she's pressed firmly against the wall. Squeezing her shoulders, I revel in the sudden power I feel.

I am in control now.

She stares up at me, wide eyes unwavering as they meet my troubled ones.

It comes to me all of a sudden, her name. I know this girl. Crabb and Goyle had been gloating over her not long ago. The gits had stolen her shoes, of all things, and hidden them on a rafter. Poor girl had been looking for them for weeks.

This was her. Looney Lovegood.

I throw my head back and laugh, startling her. My laugh seems to unnerve her more than anything else. Good. She should be scared.

"I'm not a good person." I whisper as I lean down to whisper to her. "I'm the worst sort of person. I'm the one that knows something is wrong and does it anyway." I can feel my lips pull into a cruel smile against the shell of her ear.

She shivers and my smile grows.

"Are you scared little ravenclaw?"

My grip tightens.

"You're not."

Brow furrowing, I lean back to look at her.

"Not what?"

What was this mad girl on about now?

"The worst kind of person," her eyes seem to burn up at me in the faint light, "if you were, you would have done it already."

I reel back like I've been slapped. Any possible power I may have had over the situation vanishes as I stumble away from her.

She's right. I haven't done it yet.

Turning away from too sharp girl, I sink to the ground next to the railing. My feet hang off the edge of the tower as I lean my arms on the lower bar.

I expect her to leave while she has the chance. Maybe go find a professor and report me. Imagine my surprise when she sits down next to me, close, but not touching.

Swallowing I turn to stare at her. Glancing at me, she smiles. I'm shocked to my very core when I feel a small smile of my own, a genuine one, grace my features.

"I'm sorry for trying to scare you."

The words come of their own accord.

"You didn't really mean it."

She's right again, as always.

I watch as the sun, finally making itself known over the mountains, sets her hair alight. Her smile grows as it's heat hits her face.

She's radiant like this.

"So what are you going to do?"

Such a simple question.

"I don't know."

I respond. I really don't.

We sit quietly, all to ourselves, as the sun comes up. It's the best feeling I've felt in a long time. I don't want it to end.

It's only minutes but it feels like hours when she finally stands, dusting herself off, making to leave.

"You should stay away from me." I tell her.

"Alright."

She's unperturbed.

Right at the top of the stairs, she pauses.

"Don't worry, you'll make the right decision in the end."

"And how do you know that?" I call.

"Because you're a good person."

Her eyes flick past me to the sun one last time before she turns to leave.

"Good morning Draco."

She's gone.

Looking ahead, I take it all in. The sky, ablaze with sunlight, the black lake glistening below, and the forest, stretching far across the mountains.

In that moment I'm more at peace than I've ever been.

"Good morning Luna."

Present Day

Potter is alive and the battle rages anew around them. The sun has come up.

It's morning.

There's a pounding in his chest and he feels like he can't breath. He watches as his father raises his arm, wand raised and ready to attack the nearest order member.

Draco looks around, the world seeming to hold still in that single moment. He sees people he knows and people he doesn't. Their eyes, alight with fierce determination, Harry's alive and they're fighting like they were born for it. This is their everything.

The Death Eaters are losing.

This is not an end, like he had originally thought.

No, this is a beginning.

Something unfurls inside him, something he's never felt before and Draco isn't sure what it is but he likes it. It's gone in a second, leaving him again in the middle of battle, but for that one second, he felt it.

He reaches out and clutches at his father's arm, reaching for his mother as he does so. His grip ruins Lucius' aim, and he misses the second year he'd been aiming for.

His father turns violently to glare down at him but freezes when he sees the look on his son's face.

"Father," Draco chokes out, "Let's go. We don't have to do this, we can just… stop."

Lucius Malfoy looks hard at his only son for a long moment, taking in the ashen look to his face, the weariness in it's edges. He looks to his wife and she looks so tired, so very tired.

Something in him breaks.

"Yes," he whispers "Yes let's go." He says to them both and then they're running, they're running together across the courtyard, away from the beginnings of a revolution and the end of an era.

Draco knows that she was wrong. He is not a good person. But neither is he the worst kind of person. No, he is somewhere in between.

He can live with that.

After all, it's much better than he ever expected.

He doesn't look back as he and his family flee across the bridge.

He doesn't look back but he does send up a quick prayer to any who will listen.

With his mother's arms around him and his father at his back, Draco prays that at the end of the day, the girl with the radish earrings will be alright.


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