~~Understand~~
~by Realmweaver~

"To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to" ~Kahil Gibran

I take a deep breath. From my place under the invisibility cloak, I can see everything. The countless bodies that lay across the floor. The injured students and adults getting treated by a couple of people. The greatest room in all of Hogwarts, in ruins. It is all too much for me to take in.

That is why I have come to the decision to sacrifice myself to Voldemort. I can't take seeing all of those people die for me, get hurt for me. I know that if I died, killing Voldemort would be simpler. And there are many people capable of doing it. They don't need me.

I take another deep breath, hoping that no one can hear me. I step forward, towards the Forbidden Forest where I know Voldemort and some choice Death Eaters were hiding out. Then another, then another. My heart begins to pound wildly in my chest. I think I am going to start hyperventilating.

Moving so slow turns out to be a bad idea. As I walk, step by step, I think of all the people I will be leaving behind. Ron. Hermione. All of the Weasleys (besides Fred, of course, but I can't make myself think it). Neville. Luna. Dean, Seamus, Professor McGonagall. Ginny. I need to tell them all. Tell them all how much I would miss them. Tell them that I was doing it for them. For her, I say to myself. I never got to tell her that I loved her. I never got to tell her how much I missed her on my journey to find the Horcruxes. How much I thought about her since we started dating. Even after I broke it off.

There's a rustle in the bush just as I pass it. I froze. Was somebody following me? How can they, with the cloak? There is another rustle, and a flash of white. Or was it closer to yellow? I can't tell.

"I know you're there, Potter," says a voice form the bush. It is cold and cruel, as well as arrogant. But it is broken, as if something inside of the stranger had died. "I can see your footprints. Don't think I forgot about 3rd year. You're using that cloak, aren't you? Show yourself. I am not going to kill you—the Dark Lord will take care of that."

I hesitate, but slowly pull the cloak off me. A figure emerges from the leaves. "Malfoy," I breathe. My first instinct is to stupefy him on the spot, but I don't.

"You're going to sacrifice yourself, are you, Potter?" Malfoy says with a sneer. "Going to do the noble thing, for once?" he says sarcastically.

"You wouldn't understand, Malfoy," I spit at him. "You don't understand." Then an idea comes to me. What if I pass on my messages to Malfoy? I mean, there is a chance that he would just laugh at me and the messages would never get through, but there is also a chance—albeit smaller than the one before—that he would get it, and pass it on. That he would understand. And if he chose the first choice—I was going to die, anyway, so what did it matter?

He surprises me and says "I understand more than you think, Potter,"

"Oh yeah?" I challenge him. "Then you will be able to do something for me."

"Do something? For you? You have got to be kidding me!" he says with a sharp laugh.

"Please," I say softly, hating the hint of a plead in my voice. He stares at me for a long time.

"What is it?" he asks finally. I exhale.

"I need you to pass a message." Malfoy looks at me as if I am crazy. I think I am, at the moment. But then he nods, and I feel just a tad reassured. I take a deep breath, trying to arrange my thoughts.

"First… tell Hermione and Ron that they are the best friends a bloke could ever have. I will miss them so much, and I want to thank them for everything they've ever done for me. Tell Hermione that really is the brightest witch of her age and I would've been lost without her, and Ron that he's always been my best mate-that's never changed. Tell them I'm glad that they finally stopped dodging it and gotten together. Tell them that they were my rocks that I held onto in my stormy harbor."

"Feeling a bit poetic tonight, are we Potter?" Malfoy says with a snort. I glare at him and he is silent.

"Then tell all of the Weasleys how much they meant to me—they were the family that I never got to have. Tell them that if I could, I would reverse time, so Fred never died. Tell them that my best memories were from the Burrow."

"Tell Luna that she is unique and special, and she was always my friend, no matter what she thought."

"Tell Neville that he is one of the bravest people I have and ever will know, and I have great expectations from him as a Herbology expert."

"Tell the Gryffindors that I am proud of them, and their bravery in this war. That I will miss them. So much."

"Tell the professors that they were amazing, that I learned so much from them, and that I appreciated every lesson they ever taught me, outside as well as inside the class room."

"And finally, tell Ginny…" I trailed off for a minute. "Tell Ginny that I will miss her. Tell her that I thought of her every day throughout my journey, and that I enjoyed every single moment I ever had with her. Tell her that I will miss her smile, the way the sunlight reflects off her hair, the way that she laughed at almost everything, the way that she was kind to everyone…"

"Not to me," Malfoy mutters, but I ignore him.

"And… tell her that I love her. That I always ha—had. Even when we weren't together anymore, even before she and Dean broke up. Please, tell her. Tell all of them. Tell her," I repeat.

There was a silence between us for many minutes. I don't know what's going on in his head, but I am anticipating his reaction.

"He is probably waiting for you," Malfoy says quietly and I nod.

"Don't worry, Potter. I will deliver your messages. Even if it incurs the Dark Lord's wrath, I will do it."

"Why?" I say, a bit shocked at his pronouncement. This is very out of character for Malfoy, the cold, cruel Slytherin Prince. Actually, I had thought it was impossible.

"Because I understand," Malfoy says, and he walks away from me without another word.

I throw the cloak over me again, thinking that maybe I was wrong. Maybe Malfoy was telling the truth—he did understand.


I threw this together after listening to Jesse McCartney's song "Tell Her". I am sorry for those of you who want more from my "Can I Have This Dance" Fic-I am encountering a serious writer's block. I've got the end and the beginning, but not the in between. Suggestions on how to develop Hermione and Draco's "friendship" (on the review page for that story, not this one, if you please) would be welcome! Until then you may not hear from me (except for maybe some one-shots or drabbles) for a while. My computer is being really annoying, so that may slow me down, too. I may or may not do a second chapter to this; I am still debating. Please tell me what you think. It would make my day!