Draco left the Great Hall feeling the full weight of what he had done. He ran to the bathroom not realizing he was being followed. He took off his sweater and tears rolled down his cheeks. He splashed his face with water and began to cry.
Of course, Daphne heard about this bathroom before and knew it was a place to be avoided. A girl was murdered here, and her ghost still haunted the premises to this day. She wondered why Draco took off his sweater. To her, the room seemed inexplicably colder than the other outer corridor. The lighting seemed dimmer with a silvery blue overcast. She found herself peering around every inlet of the walls, as though she expected a murderer to jump out and surprise her. She imagined she too was being followed. She tried to convince herself that was just an echo originating from her own footsteps.
"What is wrong?" Daphne called out to Draco.
"I can't talk about it," Draco responded and continued to cry. He put his hands down and clasped the edge of the sink.
"Talk to me. I can't help unless you talk to me." Daphne approached him and put her arms around him.
He turned around and leaned into her chest and continued to cry. "You can't help me. Nobody can," Draco said.
Harry watched Draco with Daphne for a few moments. He knew Daphne Greengrass by name and reputation only. He had a little bit of a crush on her. He could not deny that she was one of the prettiest girls in the entire school. He first noticed her a few years ago when she tossed that stupid 'Potter Stinks' badge in the trash. He even briefly contemplated asking her to be his date to the Yule ball but decided against it after learning about her reputation as the ice princess of Slytherin who turned down every guy who ever asked her out. After Cho Chang turned him down, he didn't feel like getting another rejection. He doubted he would be the exception, so he never acted on these feelings.
"I know what you did, Malfoy," Harry called out.
Daphne looked over at Harry and rolled her eyes. "Great, what are you accusing us of now?" Daphne asked.
"Not you. Him," Harry clarified. "You hexed her, didn't you?"
"We didn't do anything." She let go of Draco and threw her hands in the air.
"Stay out of this," Draco interrupted her. He fired off a stunner spell in Harry's direction. Harry ducked for cover as streams of energy sparked up against the wall.
Daphne couldn't believe how reckless Draco was being in attacking Harry. In classes, he had yet to beat him in a magical duel. This was the same kind of foolhardiness that got him trampled during animal handling class several years ago. She ran further into the bathroom. There was no way she was going to try to pass Potter and risk getting fired at. She wished there was another way out, but as far as she knew, there wasn't.
Fortunately, Harry was standing in the hall that led to the bathroom, which opened up into a much larger room. She crouched down into a corner. She watched as Draco and Harry exchanged more shots at each other. The noise and the lights scared her, and she was mostly just hoping not to get hit with anything. A missed shot shattered a nearby sink, and water spilled all over the floor from the exposed pipes. After seeing how much damage their magic was doing to the room, she began to fear that one or both of them were going to get seriously hurt. Or worse.
Draco stepped out in the main hall and pointed his wand at Harry. "Crucio." Draco smiled as he watched Harry fall to his knees.
Harry screamed as he collapsed on the floor. His glasses fell off and he dropped his wand. All he felt was pain like nothing he ever felt before. He couldn't get up or move.
Daphne heard Harry's screams. She went over to Draco and looked down at Harry on the floor. "You don't want to do this!" Tears streamed down her face. "Please stop."
Draco ignored her and continued to maintain his spell. "Just leave and pretend like nothing happened."
"Stop, you are going too far." Daphne knocked Draco's wand out of his hand. She couldn't believe he had actually done it. He used one of the unforgivable curses.
As Harry recovered from the pain and shock, he sat up and felt around for his wand. He found it fairly quickly.
"I thought I told you to stay out of this," Draco sneered at her. He didn't realize Harry had already reclaimed his wand.
"Please, you don't want to…" Daphne began to speak.
"Look out," Draco interrupted her.
Daphne turned around and saw Harry with his wand pointed in their direction.
Harry decided this would be a good chance to try out that new spell. "Sectumsempra!" Harry called out. Then he managed to put his glasses back on.
"Ahhh…" Daphne screamed as Harry's spell hit her.
Little white lights engulfed Draco and Daphne. Slash marks appeared over their faces and bodies. Both screamed and collapsed with a splash in the now partly flooded floor.
Harry managed to find his glasses. He put them on and got to his feet. He was horrified at what he had done. As much as he disliked Draco, he would not have used that particular spell at all if he had known exactly what it did. This spell was worse than the one Draco had used against him. "Oh, no," Harry mumbled. He blocked his mouth in reaction to his disgust. Blood mixed with the water, changing its color to a deep crimson red around both Draco and Daphne.
Both Draco and Daphne were panting and gasping for breath. Neither could form words or coherent sentences. Professor Snape marched right in. He gave Harry a nasty stare that showed his utter contempt. "Vulnera Sanentur." Snape pointed his wand at Draco. He repeated the phrase Vulnera Sanentur again and waved his wand over his injuries. Slowly the wounds began to heal.
Harry heard a giggle that was all too familiar. "Looks like I will finally get some company," Myrtle, the ghost said.
Harry looked over at Daphne. She stopped moving completely, and her eyes were wide open. Harry feared it was already too late for her, but he had to try. Harry raced over to Daphne and did his best to copy what professor Snape was doing. "Vulnera Sanentur," he called out as he waved his wand over her, while professor Snape continued to heal Draco. Much to Harry's relief, the spell was working, except that she didn't seem to be waking up. Both Draco and Daphne were placed under the care of Madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing.
Professor Snape left with Draco and Daphne. "What have I done," Harry muttered to himself.
"Aw, tell me all about it." Myrtle grinned. "Hmm," Myrtle floated circling around Harry. Harry let out a deep sigh, but no words came out. "You made quite a mess of my bathroom."
"Yeah, that is the problem here," Harry said sarcastically. He hung his head down and left the bathroom.
Harry visited Daphne in the hospital wing. "I am so sorry," he told her. Of course, Daphne could hear him, but she was still unconscious and unable to respond.
"I am so sorry," Harry said to Daphne. She looked over and saw Draco's lifeless body drowning in a pool of water mixed with his own blood. "But I can't leave a witness."
A transparent form of Draco stood over Draco's body. "This is all your fault. If you had left when I told you…" His voice trailed off as four Dementors dragged Draco's spirit through the floor.
Harry pointed his wand at her and fired off another spell. "Avada Kedavra. I don't know if you can hear me, but I am really sorry," Harry repeated. A green light escaped the tip of his wand and struck her.
"Crap," Daphne said as now she could see right through her own hand and look down at her own body that also lifelessly just laid on the floor. She didn't realize she was only dreaming.
"Miss Greengrass hasn't woken up yet," Madam Pomfrey told Harry.
"Do you think she ever will?" Harry asked. His eyes misted slightly with tears.
"She did lose a lot of blood and some of those wounds are pretty deep," Madam Pomfrey said. Harry hung his head down and wished there was something he could actually do to help. "Hopefully, she will respond well to the blood transfusion."
"If she needs a blood donor, I will do it," Harry volunteered.
"Very nice of you. I will let you know." She smiled. "I didn't realize you and Miss Greengrass were that close."
"We are not." Harry looked at her and couldn't hide his surprised reaction. Madam Pomfrey seemed to have no idea that Harry was actually responsible for this. He wondered what Professor Snape told her when Daphne and Draco were brought here.
"Oh, I just assumed," Madam Pomfrey said.
Professor Snape walked in and looked at Draco and Daphne. "I contacted their parents," he said.
"Good. What happened to them exactly, anyway?" Madam Pomfrey asked.
"Like I told their parents, that is still under investigation," Professor Snape said. Then he shifted his gaze to Harry. He stared at him for a few moments with an unspoken accusation tempered with just a bit of fear that he already knew the answer. He recognized his own work from a spell he created decades ago, back when he too was a student at Hogwarts.
"Ok," Madam Pomphrey nodded before she left the room.
Snape grabbed Harry's shoulder with a tight grip that made Harry cringe. "What did you do? Did you have anything to do with this?" He pointed to Draco and Daphne.
"Yes, I did," Harry admitted. "It was an accident. Malfoy started it…"
"Accident? What spell did you use?" Professor Snape interrupted. He spoke with a raised voice and his hand squeezed slightly harder.
"Who said anything about it being a spell?" Harry asked.
Professor Snape gave him a stern look. "Do I need to get Veritaserum?"
"No sir. It was a hand-written spell from my potions book," Harry admitted. "Probably created by the previous owner, the half-blood prince."
Snape's mouth gaped open as he processed those words. He loosened his collar. This was exactly what he had feared. He realized he should have destroyed that book a long time ago. "Ah," he gulped.
"What is it?" Harry asked.
"I will be assigning you detentions, and of course, your Hogsmeade privileges will be revoked," Professor Snape explained. His gaze remained fixated on Draco and Daphne.
"I was expecting a far worse punishment," Harry admitted.
"If either one of them dies." He pointed between Draco and Daphne. "It will be, I assure you."
"I understand." Harry nodded. He truly hoped that would not happen, and it had nothing to do with the threat of a worse punishment looming over him. Knowing he actually killed someone would be the worst punishment of his life.
"I will keep this quiet for now. If one of them dies, I will have no choice but to disclose everything to their families and you will be up on very serious charges. If they wake up, it will be up to them if they want to press any formal charges against you," Professor Snape said. If Draco and Daphne woke up, he was confident he could intimidate both of them into keeping quiet about this, but he doubted he would have the same pull with their parents. Snape knew if this went to trial, his spell would be revealed, and he would most likely be sent to Azkaban for it.
Over the next few days, Harry visited as often as possible. He couldn't be there as often as he would like because of the extra detentions Professor Snape had given him. There was no change in either of them. Both still remained unconscious. Madam Pomfrey did not take Harry up on his offer to be a blood donor. Draco's mother donated for her son and Daphne's aunt donated for her.
But today was different. As Harry approached, he heard Draco's voice. This was probably the first time he had ever been happy to hear him. "But it was your fault though," Draco said.
"My fault? How so?" Daphne asked.
A smile spread across Harry's face. He was overwhelmed with a sense of relief knowing that Daphne finally woke up. He donned his cloak of invisibility and simply lurked by the entrance way. He didn't want to risk Daphne being caught in the middle of another confrontation between Draco and himself.
"If you had left when I told you to, this never would have happened," Draco declared.
Harry wished this never happened. He wished she had just left when Draco told her to. He had not yet realized the full implications of that.
"I had Potter down with a spell. You could have easily just left. But what did you do? You knock my wand out of my hand and wrecked my spell. What were you thinking?"
"If you used a simple stunner spell, I would have done that, but no, you had to use an unf…." Daphne paused midsentence, as she glanced around the room. She realized what the punishment was for such a spell. "You had to use that particular spell. That spell should never be used for any reason. Besides, how was I supposed to know Potter would actually try to kill us?"
"He will undoubtedly try again," Draco warned her.
Daphne groaned. "Yeah and thanks to your little spell, we can't do anything about it," Daphne admitted. She expected Draco to say something, but he just gave her a blank stare. "If we tell on him, he will tell on you… And you will be in trouble."
Harry already felt plenty guilty about what happened to Daphne, but finding out that the only reason she got hurt in the first place was because she stopped Draco from hurting him, made him feel even worse. Harry rushed back to his own room, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, wondering how he could possibly make things right again.
To be continued….
I would like to thank CSGT for helping with this story.