~~Something Worth Seeing~~
~By Realmweaver~

Written for Dramionelurver's Without You Challenge
~For Those Who Have Lost and Never Found, All Because of War~

Wars are strange things. They come and go, not having a care the world who they take with them, and who they leave behind. They don't seem to realize what they mean to people, or how they can tear people apart, or how they can leave people feeling utterly lost and disgusted with themselves. Yes, wars seem to be completely indifferent. But they do realize one thing; the people fighting them, they are not indifferent. They know that the people amongst them, fighting for their lives, feel pain and suffering and grief and misery. And still, the war goes on.

Does it sound strange to you, hearing me explain to you the feelings of a war, or, really, the lack thereof? It shouldn't. Wars are just like you and me. Only they are worse.

They consume, they rage, they hate, they clash against people, make them think that it's other people they've got to fight against. When really, it should be the people fighting against the wars.

Let me show you what I mean. You may not see what war does, but I do. I can show you. Follow me. I will show you something worth seeing.

~SWS~

It's the second Wizarding War in a century. Did you hear that? I'll repeat it anyway.

The second Wizarding War in a century.

That might not sound bad to you, considering your people probably have twice as many wars as that in every century. But you have to remember that wizards don't have bombs to fight over, supplies to fight over, money to fight over… or even enough people to fight with each other like your people do. And most of their problems are solved with magic, anyway.

So if you took away all of your bombs, gave enough supplies for everyone to live, and gave everyone wands to make fire, or to turn mud into water, or to turn grass into salad, do you think you'd be warring like you do now?

I don't think so, and in all modesty, I usually am correct.

So let me take you to the battlefront of the Second Wizarding War, where Harry Potter has just sacrificed himself to Lord Voldemort to save his friends and the entire Wizarding War. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Perhaps you are familiar with the place? Though I wouldn't be offended if you aren't.

Tell me, what do you see? Can't describe it? I'll do it for you, then.

There is a heavy din pressing down on the people, pressuring their ears, stopping them from discerning individual noises. It fills all the empty space in the Great Hall, it swoops down on the people fighting the war and deafens them. All they can hear is the sound of their own battle; none of the other sounds that are rebounding across the hall to create a cacophony of misery and pain. But you can hear them.

Screams of agony.

Of grief.

Of effort.

Of despair.

Of death.

Ah, but that's only hearing things. There are so many things to see, too. Jets of light shoot from multiple wands, illuminating the castle in a deadly glow, and looking even more eerie than if they had been cast in broad daylight. You can see people dragging their comrades through the battle, dodging spells while they try to carry their lost or injured friend through the chaos. You can see people writhing on the floor as the Cruciatus Curse is thrown at them carelessly, and you can see people being thrown into walls, their wands landing in their opponent's hand as a well-aimed Expelliarmus is tossed at them.

In my opinion, the smell is the worst. You can catch the heavy scent of sweat, fear, and pain throughout the entire castle. And, of course, death. You can smell death, too.

Let's zoom in, shall we? We can stop now if you're getting queasy. No? Are you sure? Then let's go.

There!

Can you see them? There, the two blondes racing through the fighting, not really attacking the Light Side, but not really defending the Dark Side, either.

And there, on the staircase at the west end of the castle, another blonde, flinging himself through the crowd in an effort to, well, not die.

And there they meet in the middle, hugging and kissing each other and crying and whispering and whimpering to each other. A happy moment, don't you think? You can tell they all love each other very much. I think the witch is just happy to see her son alive. So, unbelievably happy. You can remember a time when you thought that something or someone you loved very much was gone, but then you found it again, right? Multiply that by ten, and you will comprehend what they were feeling.

I'm not meaning to be insensitive, but I don't think you are fighting a war. But if you are, then congratulations; you're still alive.

Pardon? Really? Surely you know who these witch and wizards are. Really, you don't? It's the Malfoys! Draco, Lucius, and Narcissa Malfoy! Ah, you remember now, good.

What? Oh yes, him. The one with the black cloak and silver clasp, is that the one you're talking about? Mm. Watch. This is why you are here.

Let's take a closer look.

~SWS~

"Nmph,"

"Lucius. Lucius? LUCIUS? Merlin, he's dead! Draco, he's dead, someone killed him!"

"Dad!" Draco Malfoy made a grab for the body, trying to support his father on his shoulders. "Dad, wake up! You're not dead!" He let the body drop and fisted his shirt and shook. "You can't be dead! Dad!" He didn't bother stopping the tears from falling. They made puddles in Lucius's shirt, looking like the coins and diamonds that his family had hoarded for so long.

Oh Lucius. Collecting tears instead of money would've made you so much stronger.

"This can't be happening," Draco sobbed. This can't be happening, he repeats to himself silently. Not when they were just reunited. They were supposed to be fine! They were supposed to finish the war, weed their way out of Azkaban, and resume their high-society way of life. They were supposed to live.

~SWS~

The war is laughing at them. They actually thought they'd come away alive. Foolish, don't you think?

~SWS~

"Hello, Narcissa."

They both whipped around, Lucius's body thudding to the floor. Draco cringed at the sound. And still he cringed as he saw who was approaching him. He began to wipe at his face furiously.

"Amycus."

"You're a traitor, Narcissa," he shouted. "A traitor to your own kind. And a liar. You said the Potter boy was dead! If he was dead, then where is his body, Narcissa?"

"I don't know, Amycus, I don't know!" she cried.

The Deatheater glared. "You filthy blood-traitor! Your family never deserved Lord Voldemort's favor! And now you'll pay for your dishonesty to the Dark Lord! Ava—"

"EXPELLIARMUS!"

Amycus's wand flew out of his hand and landed somewhere in the blood- and sweat-drenched throng of fighters.

"Stupefy!"

He was thrown into the crowd, like his wand. Once Draco was sure he wouldn't be back for a while, he crouched down next to his father's body, shaking it furiously again.

"Lucius," Narcissa sobbed.

"Dad, you're not dead!" Draco shouted into his father's face. "You're not DEAD!"

"Malfoy!"

Draco's head swiveled around to see Hermione Granger approaching them. She looked terrible. Her bushy hair was sticking out all around her head and she had slashes all over her face and arms. Her clothes were torn and muddied, with gashes and scrapes peeking through, all of them fresh and bloody. She looked like she had been through hell. She probably had been.

"W-what do you w-want, Granger?" Draco said, trying to pull his father off the floor.

"What in Merlin's name happened here?"

"Amycus killed him! He killed L-Lucius…" Narcissa whimpered, standing up and throwing herself at Hermione. "Please, Miss Granger… help us…"

"Why should I?" she said ruthlessly, her face wrinkled in disgust. "You're lucky I saved your sorry selves from Carrow. You didn't help me at the manor, did you? Left me for dead at the hands of your psychotic aunt." This was directed at Draco, though he was not the one to respond.

"I-I'm sorry—" Narcissa stuttered.

"It doesn't matter!" Hermione yelled. "I'm branded for life!" She rolled up her sleeve, showing a thick, brown, ugly scab on her forearm that read mudblood. "And besides," she said scathingly, "I think the bastard deserved it."

Draco rushed at her, anger clouding his silver eyes. "You didn't know him like I did!" he roared, taking her collar in his fists. "You didn't know him!"

He let go of her shirt as she stared him down coldly. Her eyes were little brown pebbles, dark with animosity. His face crumpled and he collapsed on the floor. "Please…" he whimpered. "Help us…"

Slowly, Hermione's steely gaze softened and she offered him a hand. "Come on, Malfoy; we've got to get you two out of here."

She and Narcissa heaved one side of Lucius Malfoy onto their shoulder while Draco took the other.

They wove through the crowd, Hermione and Draco keeping their heads down so as not to be recognized by either side of the fight. Neither one was sure how well their comrades would react had they seen them both working together to carry Lucius's body.

"We're going to get him Madam Promfrey; she's stationed herself in a room a corridor down from the Great Hall," Hermione yelled to the two Malfoys. "She'll know what to with the… well, she'll know what to do."

She turned to face Draco, and silver eyes met brown. Draco only then truly realized how beautiful her eyes were. Maybe it was because they were in a situation where prejudice had to be thrown away, for the sake of something bigger.

"Th-thanks, Granger," he whispered. The Gryffindor let the teeniest of smiles slip onto her face. She opened her mouth, about to respond.

~SWS~

The war knows full well she would never get the chance. I wouldn't be surprised if it had planned it that way.

~SWS~

"Argh!"

"Malfoy!"

He had collapsed, a hand at his leg.

"Draco!" Narcissa cried as Lucius's body fell back down onto the ground, Draco halfway underneath it. Hermione bent down beside him, rolling his own father's body off him.

The blonde was clutching his leg; or, really, what was left of it. A spell had hit him that tore it to pieces, and the only part of his leg that wasn't drenched in blood was his upper thigh. The rest was covered with lacerations, blood, cloth from his pants, and ripped skin. The blood was starting to pool out onto the hall underneath him.

Hermione resisted the urge to throw up and began to pull her sweater over her head, trying to wrap it around Malfoy's leg.

It wasn't working very well.

"What happened? Miss Granger, what did they do to my son?" Narcissa shrieked, trying to get around to see Draco's wound. Hermione ignored her, trying to make the sweater stay in place as she racked her brains for a spell… any spell…

She moaned. "Oh my God, Malfoy—"

"Granger, just shut up and fix me!" Draco yelled.

"I-I don't know, I didn't learn a spell for this big a wound—"

"Then just get me to Madam Promfrey!"

"Yes, of course… what about your father?"

"Leave Lucius." It was Narcissa speaking now, her voice shaky. "Don't worry about him for now, Miss Granger, just please, help me get Draco to Madam Promfrey."

"Er…" Hermione tried to pick Draco up, bride-style, but he was just too heavy.

"He's losing too much blood now, isn't he?" Narcissa asked, eyes only on the red leaking from Draco's leg and dripping heavily on the floor. "Isn't He?"

Hermione bit her lip and nodded, gently laying him down on the floor, beside Lucius.

"No, we're not giving up!" Narcissa screamed, trying to drag her son up from the floor. He cried out in anguish as his leg rubbed against the ground.

Hermione bent down to help, but still, Draco was too heavy for them. Narcissa's arms were little sticks, and Hermione wasn't much better, seeing as she had been eating mushrooms, berries, and bread for most of the year. She realized that Draco was probably taking most of the weight when they carried Lucius, seeing as the two women could barely lift him two feet off the ground before dropping him.

The injured blonde was motionless, staring emptily upwards. He did not even try to stand up to help them; he just lay there, unusually accepting of his fate, seeing as he was raised by a Deatheater.

"I am going to die," he whispered.

"Shut UP, Malfoy, you're not going to die, just give me two seconds," Hermione said, sitting down Indian style and pressing the pads of her fingers into her temple. She was thinking furiously, reviewing every spell she had ever learned in her head.

He ignored her and looked over at his dead father, reached out with a groan, and closed his eyelids. Narcissa was sitting beside her son, tears streaking down her face.

"Can you believe it Dad? A muggle-born, Hermione Granger, helped us to stay alive. The most insufferable one of them all." He was crying now, tears streaking down his face, though no one was sure whether it was because of the pain or the grief.

"Help!" Hermione screamed suddenly, out to the crowd. She stood up. "Someone, please, help me!" But no one seemed to hear her.

She kept screaming anyway.

Draco was still talking to his father, as if he were still alive. He could vaguely feel his mother's hand around his own. "We screwed up pretty badly, didn't we, Dad?" he said. He gave a little chuckle. He looked up at the ceiling of the Great Hall. "What do you think it'll be like? Death, I mean."

He turned back to his father. "I'm going to see you soon."

"Shut up, Draco, just shut up, you're not going to die!" Hermione yelled at him. "HELP!" she screamed at the top of her lungs.

"You said my name," Draco murmured softly. "Well, I guess I should return the favor... Hermione."

And then a closed his eyes for the last time.

Father and son lay dead on the floor of the Great Hall, with a woman each to scream their names.

~SWS~

Wars are strange things. They come and go, not having a care the world who they take with them, and who they leave behind. Yes, wars seem to be completely indifferent. But they do realize one thing; the people fighting them, they are not indifferent. They know that the people amongst them, fighting for their lives, feel pain and suffering and grief and misery. So eventually, they must come to an end.

Would it make you feel any better if I told you that Draco and Lucius Malfoy were buried side by side? Would it make you feel any better if Narcissa and Hermione became good friends after Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort? How about that Lucius Malfoy drifted in the painful existence between death and the afterlife, determined to wait for his son?

No? That's alright. You're not supposed to feel reassured.

Call me cruel, call me despicable, call me sadistic, but my intention was for you to feel empty inside.

This is what war is really like. It is ruthless. It is terrible. It steals away happiness and hoards joy for itself. It kills people, injures them, drives them insane, and drives them apart.

And now you ask: who am I to convince you of what war is like?

In all modesty, I think I am quite entitled.

~SWS~

My name is Albus Dumbledore. Follow me. I have shown you something worth seeing.